No alarms found at almost half of fire call outs over last three years
PUBLISHED: 12:13 06 April 2020 | UPDATED: 12:13 06 April 2020
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No fire alarms were found at almost half of all 999 call outs over the last three years, figures have revealed.
Freedom of information data shows out of the 2,257 fire call outs Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service attended between 2018 and 2019, 1,001 had no alarm fitted.
Almost 140 of the call outs where a fire alarm was not fitted were in the NR29, NR30 and NR31 post codes in Great Yarmouth.
Most homes that suffered a fire over the last three years had an alarm, but on 199 occasions the alarm didn’t function when a fire occurred. The reasons why alarms did not function included missing or flat batteries and the system being manually turned off.
Of the alarms that did not function during a fire, 178 of these occasions were because the system was not close enough or in the same room as the blaze.
Greg Preston, head of protection and prevention at Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Smoke alarms are a simple and effective way of keeping your household safe and are proven to save lives.
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“People are twice as likely to die in a fire when the house has no working smoke alarm.
“When fitted correctly, such alarms alert the occupants at an early stage, making evacuation- if they are able to escape - and contact with the emergency services happen more quickly.”
At the end of last month Norfolk fire chiefs said we could see an increase in house fires, because people are spending so much more time at home during restrictions due to coronavirus.
Mr Preston said: “With most people now following Stay At Home advice, we would remind all residents to test their alarm weekly and, if battery operated, to replace these every year.
“The alarm casing should also be given a regular wipe with a cloth or vacuum to prevent dust build up.”
Norfolk Fire and Rescue service offer home fire risk checks for vulnerable groups and are still attending high-risk cases.
If a home visit is urgent call the community safety advisors for advice on 0800 917 8137 or by email at email@example.com.
Home safety advice is also available the Norfolk County Council website, www.norfolk.gov.uk/fire
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