Hereford and Worcester false alarms waste 4,000 hours

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Nearly all automatic fire alarm call-outs in Herefordshire and Worcestershire are false alarms, according to the county's fire service.

Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) have carried out a review that found 95% of call-outs to automatic alarms are accidental.

As a result, crews are wasting 4,000 hours a year. A number of changes are being made to the call-out system.

A senior fire official described the findings as "staggering".

The service has not been able to provide figures around how much money false call-outs cost Each year.

3,000 false call-outs

HWFRS receive a total of 8,000 call-outs each year.

Area Commander George Sherry said: "To think that we attend around 3,000 calls a year where no firefighting action is required is actually quite staggering.

"It simply isn't sensible for us to commit so many resources to automatic fire alarm calls."

Changes to the system mean that operators in the 999 control room will ask whether the alarm has been triggered by a real fire or if it was an accident.

Mr Sherry said: "It was essential that we carried out a review and implement changes in the way we respond to (automatic fire-alarms) articularly in the current economic climate where public resources are stretched."

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