South Yorkshire businesses urged to upgrade smoke alarms as firefighters tackle huge number of calls

Grassland fire in Denaby.
Grassland fire in Denaby.

Businesses are being urged to upgrade their smoke alarm systems to help alleviate pressure on firefighters tackling high numbers of incidents during the heatwave.

The recent hot weather has seen a rise in arson attacks and accidental fires with South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue having to deal with 336 emergency calls in a 24-hour period alone earlier this week.

Andy Hayter.

Andy Hayter.

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The brigade is now calling on businesses to back up their automatic fire alarms with 999 calls.

Firefighters automatically attend 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.

Officers want building managers of non-life risk premises to dial 999 to confirm if there is definitely a fire.

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This should help to ease demand on their already stretched services.

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.”

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To reduce false alarms, businesses should check their alarm systems regularly and train staff properly on what to do if an alarm sounds.