Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service is asking people to consider how their fire and rescue service responds to emergencies across the County as part of a public consultation.
The consultation will run until Monday, 28 March 2022 (running for 10 weeks in total) and focuses on how they respond to Automatic Fire Alarms in lower-risk, occupied buildings such as shops, office blocks and factories. This is because 99% of the Automatic Fire Alarm calls are false alarms. False alarms can be caused by a number of issues, for example, aerosol sprays, cooking fumes or a fire alarm system that hasn’t been serviced properly.
These calls place a significant burden on the Fire and Rescue Service, with on average, 2,200 Automatic Fire Alarm calls attended every year that are false alarms. Consequently, up to 1,300 hours of firefighter time could be saved each year and spent on other priority work such as delivering valuable fire safety advice in the community, carrying out vital training, visiting high-risk properties to help prepare firefighters should they need to respond to an incident there and ensuring more fire engines would be available for emergency incidents.
Under both options in this consultation, a fire engine will always be sent when there is a confirmed fire and there will be no change to how we respond to Automatic Fire Alarms in higher risk buildings like care homes, hotels, student accommodation and high-rise buildings, where we will immediately send a response when notified of an Automatic Fire Alarm.
To find out more and take part in the consultation, please visit rbfrs.co.uk/consultations and complete the survey. The consultation document is available in different formats and languages on the RBFRS website: Easy Read, Large Text, Plain Text, Polish, Punjabi (Indian) and Urdu.