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Posted on Wednesday, 23 November 2011 07:34PM by
Fire and rescue services across the UK will soon be able to charge firms for persistently attending false alarms.

The incoming Localism Bill will give fire authorities the power to charge a commercial property owner if they consistently attend false fire alarms which have been set off by malfunctioning or "misinstalled" warning equipment.

Many crews are burdened by false calls to non-domestic premises, with around a third of all fire brigade attendances resulting from false or faulty alarms.

This new legislation aims to encourage UK businesses to regularly maintain their fire alarms and reduce the cost and time lost by fire services due to false alarms.

In addition, the Localism Bill includes the Community Right to Challenge which allows voluntary and community groups, parish councils and local authority employees the right to challenge the provision of services by local authorities.

This could result in these groups assuming responsibility for fire safety education, which is currently provided by fire and rescue services, if they believe they can deliver the service to a higher standard.

The new bill does not give local or national businesses the chance to bid for services.

Commenting on the Community Right to Challenge, FIA CEO, Graham Ellicott said: "One has to ask why local business does not have the right to challenge as they provide taxes which help maintain local services; in a more cynical moment one might wonder if it's because business does not have a vote!"

Source: FIA

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