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9 May 2013, 06:13
Cambridgeshire Fire Service won't automatically send crews to businesses when fire alarms go off during office hours from June.
Between 9am and 5pm (Monday to Friday) about 21,000 non-residential addresses in Cambridgeshire won't get an automatic response by the fire service, unless someone has dialled 999 to confirm there is a fire.
Premises such as hospitals, schools, care homes and flats above four storeys will be exempt from the changes.
Rick Hylton, Area Commander for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “Over 20,000 businesses/organisations will be affected and letters have been posted to these addresses to inform them."
"At these addresses, only confirmed fires will be attended by a fire engine between the hours of 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. We will continue attending automatically outside of these hours."
“The reason we have made the change is because these types of call place an additional burden on our resources and can delay us from attending genuine emergencies."
“Data over the last five years shows that 98 per cent of all calls to automatic fire alarms prove to be false alarms. A fire alarm’s primary function is to notify the occupants of a potential problem, not to contact the fire service."
"Premises should have in place systems to respond to a fire alarm and contact the fire service if needed."
If organisations are unsure if the changes affect them, need further information, or want to get in contact, they can email firstname.lastname@example.org