Businesses to be charged for persistent false alarm call outs

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Businesses which have more than three false alarm call outs in 12 months are set to be charged.

The green light for the £350 charge from West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service was given last November and will come into force today (April 1, 2014), running as a pilot for the first 18 months.

Chris Kemp, Fire Protection Manager, said: “The charging scheme which commences on April 1, 2014, will enable WYFRS to recover costs associated with attending repeat false alarms. It is anticipated that this will encourage those responsible for fire alarms to ensure they manage them appropriately to reduce the likelihood of a false alarm occurring. We will continue to support businesses that do this however those who choose not to manage their system are likely to incur a charge should they have repeat false alarms.

“We have been working closely with key stakeholders such as hospital trusts to ensure that the process we adopt during the pilot is a fair and transparent one. Anyone who does receive a charge will have the option to appeal against it by following the appeals process.”

The move comes following legislation introduced in February 2012 allowing fire and rescue authorities in England to levy a charge where there is a report of fire:

• In a non-domestic premises, and

• The report is false , and

• The report is made as a direct or indirect result of an alarm malfunctioning or being misinstalled, and

• There is a persistent problem with false reports of fire at the premises.