Firefighters across Yorkshire are being called out to hundreds of malicious false alarms causing mounting pressure on already stretched resources, The Yorkshire Post can exclusively reveal today.
During 2018/19 firefighters across Yorkshire were called to a total of 62,579 incidents including fires, road traffic accidents and flash flooding.
Of the 62,579 calls they received, 36 per cent - 22,712 - were false alarms.
Of the 22,712 false alarms, a total of 746 were malicious calls and wasted valuable time and resources.
Schools and hospitals are mainly the ‘victims’ of the malicious false alarms due to the high number of patients, pupils and trigger points across many buildings.
The figures come just days after it was revealed the number of firefighters across the county has been slashed by 1,150 in the last decade.
From next month, Humberside Fire and Rescue Service will change the way it responds to automatic fire alarms in a bid to save resources. The service is also considering charging businesses for more than three unnecessary call-outs in a 12 month period.
Steve Duffield, Humberside Fire and Rescue Service Public Safety Group Manager said: “Humberside Fire and Rescue Service will soon be changing the way it responds to Automatic Fire Alarms (AFAs).
“From October 1 2019, crews will not respond to an AFA if the alarm is sounding in non-sleeping premises during normal working hours unless backed up by a call confirming that there is a fire.
“This should drive down the number of call-outs as will the prospect of charging a business for more than three unnecessary call-outs in a 12 month period.”
South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is also making changes to how it responds to AFAs at business premises from next year.
Area Manager Andrew Strelczenie said: “We will no longer be attending AFAs in some type of commercial premises, unless it is backed up by a 999 call to confirm there is a fire.”