Norfolk fire crews to axe automatic alarm call-outs

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service plans to save money by not responding to automatic fire alarms until confirmation of a fire is received.

Shops, factories and public buildings would have to contact the fire service before fire engines will be sent out.

The fire service said 95% of automatic alarms were false alarms and very few incidents required any action.

Crews turned out to automatic alarms unnecessarily 2,124 times last year, at a cost of about £102,000, it added.

False alarms have included system faults and the accidental breaking of "break glass" emergency buttons.

Schools, some industrial sites and premises used by vulnerable people or which include sleeping accommodation would be exempt.

The plan could save £31,000 each year and would bring Norfolk into line with many fire and rescue services across the country, the fire service added.

Staff at industrial, commercial premises, offices, shops, licensed premises, place of worship and all public buildings would need to review their fire safety procedures.

More than 300 businesses and organisations will be consulted before a report goes before the county council later this year.

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