Fire safety concerns over Scottish fire services no longer responding to automatic alarms
Thank you for choosing Automatic Translation. Currently we are offering translations from English into French and German, with more translation languages to be added in the near future. Please be aware that these translations are generated by a third party AI software service. While we have found that the translations are mostly correct, they may not be perfect in every case. To ensure the information you read is correct, please refer to the original article in English. If you find an error in a translation which you would like to bring to our attention, it would help us greatly if you let us know. We can correct any text or section, once we are aware of it. Please do not hesitate to contact our webmaster to let us know of any translation errors.
Budget cuts in the Scottish fire services has led to a decision to no longer respond to automatic alarms.
BBC Scotland wrote on July 1 that fire crews from now will not attend premises such as schools, offices and places of worship unless a fire is actually confirmed.
Hospitals, care homes and other buildings where someone could be sleeping are reportedly exempt.
Automatic alarms are expensive, and allegedly make up about 80 % of the calls for the Scottish fire services. The new approach - to basically requiring a human to verify that there is fire first - is throught to reduce unnecessary call-outs, save money and free up staff for more training time.
However, some organisations have expressed concerns about the new approach. Many Scottish fire fighters are also sceptical:
SFRS group commander Steven Low said they were "big changes". The article on BBC has more from his interview.
Colin Brown, executive council member for the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) in Scotland, said to BBC Scotland;
"The changes have been proposed for a number of years. The FBU expressed some grave concerns... Firefighters are the professionals in assessing fire risk. Firefighters don't respond to unwanted fire alarm signals, they respond to a fire alarm going off, and only leave knowing it was unwanted... The concern that we have is that the responsibility for assessing that risk is now entirely on duty holders, where firefighters are trained to spot signs that duty holders may miss and lead to more developed fires and delays in fire service response..."
Photo Credit: A fire truck with the logo of the Scottish Fire Services. Photo: Annabelle Ewing, Scottish government. Creative Commons License