The fire service has called on businesses to back up automatic fire alarms with 999 calls, as it battles higher than average call volumes during the heatwave.
South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue automatically attends certain industrial and commercial premises which are fitted with specialist fire alarm systems, despite the call outs almost always turning out to be false alarms.
With 999 operators handling hundreds of calls a day and firefighters attending dozens more incidents than usual during the current hot spell, officers want building managers of non-life risk premises to dial 999 to confirm there’s definitely a fire.
Group Manager Andy Hayter, said: “Most false alarms are caused by faulty fire detection equipment, people setting alarms off by accident, not following correct fire alarm test procedure or building managers failing to investigate the cause of the fire alarm.
“Whilst we will always attend incidents where there is definitely a fire, this short term, common sense measure will help to ensure that our fire engines are available to attend genuine emergencies if they do occur.”
To reduce false alarms, businesses should check their alarm systems regularly and train staff properly on what to do if an alarm sounds.