Essex

Firefighters in Essex drop response to business alarms

Firefighters in Essex will no longer respond to automatic fire alarms in offices, factories or calls from telephone kiosks that are abandoned.

Essex fire service claims that 97% of these call-outs are false alarms.

"The service has decided to take action to ensure its operational resources are used effectively," a spokesman said.

The service wants to ensure its teams are left available on more occasions to respond to real emergencies.

Chief fire officer David Johnson said that domestic tax payers should not bear the burden of industrial or commercial premises failing to maintain their automatic fire alarms.

"Home owners and businesses would rather fire crews and appliances are ready to respond to real emergencies rather than sitting outside factories or offices dealing with false alarms."

He said 'blue light' responses, although fire service drivers are highly skilled and trained, still presented inherent dangers.

These movements are to be cut by over 2,000 calls each year.

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