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Firefighters 'could stop attending automatic alarms'

Firefighters may no longer attend
automatic fire alarms in a
bid to save money

Firefighters may no longer attend automatic fire alarms in a bid to save money, according to a report in the Dumfries and Galloway Standard.

The proposals could mean firefighters only go to premises when they are sure the fire alarm is for real, but the idea has been slammed by some saying it would put lives at risk.

It will be put to councillors this week as part of a set of moves aimed at saving £1.7 million in the next three years.

Chief Fire Officer Colin Scott said: "Firefighters spend a large proportion of their time investigating automatic fire alarms." In order to reduce expenditure, two approaches could be pursued: implementation of a policy not to mobilise appliances until fire is confirmed; or lobby Scottish Government to give fire authorities the power to charge for certain services relative to attendance at automatic fire alarms, he suggested in a report.

Robert Wishart, Secretary of Loreburn Community Council, said: "There would have to be some way to ensure an alarm was false before deciding whether or not to attend."

Home fire safety visits could also be scrapped to cut costs.

Automatic fire alarms are often found in commercial and business premises that are empty during evenings and weekends.

False call-outs are not only a problem for firefighters but can be expensive for managers of the premises.

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