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Pledge to cut four-hour wait to turn off fire alarm at Helgate Court

14:43 25 February 2013

Residents at Helgate Court, Westwick Street, Norwich who have to endure hours of ear splitting alarms even after the fire service have attended because they are not authorised to reset the control panel. Photo: Residents at Helgate Court, Westwick Street, Norwich who have to endure hours of ear splitting alarms even after the fire service have attended because they are not authorised to reset the control panel. Photo: Steve Adams

Residents at Helgate Court, Westwick Street, Norwich who have to endure hours of ear splitting alarms even after the fire service have attended because they are not authorised to reset the control panel. Photo: Residents at Helgate Court, Westwick Street, Norwich who have to endure hours of ear splitting alarms even after the fire service have attended because they are not authorised to reset the control panel. Photo: Steve Adams

Archant

A housing association has told residents who have to put up with fire alarms blaring in their rooms for up to four hours that it will cut the waiting time.

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But people living in Helgate Court on Westwick Street in Norwich have dismissed the pledge saying their lives are still being ruined by long waits to turn off fire alarms.

As reported in the Norwich Evening News in January, the 31 residents complained to Orbit Housing about the problem and have informed their MP Simon Wright.

They have called on Orbit to give them the responsibility of silencing the fire alarm rather than waiting for contractors who are based in Dorset and have to travel hundreds of miles to Norwich to turn the alarms off.

Resident Pauline Taylor said: “It is just not on.

“Even a one-hour wait is not good enough.

“There is an alarm in every room and outside the doors. It is just overkill.”

Mrs Taylor said the decibel reading went off the scale when she tried to measure the sound levels of the alarms using an app on her iPad.

But a spokeswoman for Orbit said they had been advised by Norfolk Fire Service that residents should not silence the alarm.

She said: “We have put in place measures to reduce the response time from a maximum of four hours to one hour.

“We are in discussions with Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service for their advice on whether it is possible to reduce the volume at Helgate Court and will act accordingly.”

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