From 3rd December 2018, Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Services, in conjunction with their Tri-Service partners, Derbyshire and Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Services, have adopted a new procedure with regards to how they will respond to automatic signals from fire alarm systems and what they deem as unwanted fire alarm signals.
As an organisation we would like to communicate to you how these changes will affect requests for assistance that are made by your staff via their fire control room.
Careful consideration and ratification of this procedure has been undertaken by Nottinghamshire and City of Nottingham Fire & Rescue Authority, who have no legal responsibility under the Fire Services Act 2004 to respond to Automatic Fire Alarm’s. As such, the decision has been made that they will now be adopting a process of call challenging. This will enable them to differentiate between an emergency call for assistance and a request to respond to an Automatic Fire Alarm.
To reduce the impact of Automatic Fire Alarm activations on their organisation, they will be undertaking call challenging 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This call challenging will place emphasis on the Alarm Receiving Centre of Fire Alarm Monitoring Organisations to gather additional information from the occupier, through further investigation of the premises. The outcome of this investigation will determine if an attendance is required or not.
As an organisation they recognise that some premises present a greater risk to life and to the wider economic community of Nottinghamshire, as such they have determined that the following premises types will be exempt from call challenging as part of this procedure:-
- Domestic premises including Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO);
- Residential flats;
- Sheltered housing;
- Residential care and nursing homes;
- Local Primary Care Trust Hospitals and Private Hospitals which have sleeping on site;
- Hotels during night-time hours only (21:00hrs – 08:00hrs). (During the day, hotels will be call challenged.);
- Other sleeping risks
- Sites that present a greater risk of injury to firefighters due to the hazards on site and where Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service have gathered detailed risk information;
- Heritage sites listed as Grade I or Grade II by Historic England;
- High rise premises with sleeping risk;
- Any premises not conforming to the above criteria but is locally determined to be unsuitable for call challenging.
In order to support you in adopting these changes, there are a number of things that we would like to bring to your attention that you will need to carry out to ensure a smooth transition of this procedure.
- Please take the time to review the Tri-Service Automatic Fire Alarm procedure which is available on their website;
- Please inform staff of changes they may encounter in relation to call challenging when contacting Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service;
- Review any Fire Risk Assessment in place to ensure that it continues to be suitable and sufficient;
- Carry out additional staff training that may be required to support further investigation following an Automatic Fire Alarm activation;
- Consult with any relevant insurance providers regarding these changes;
- Review your legal responsibility under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 to manage and maintain fire safety arrangements appropriately.
Total Integrated Solutions Limited would like to support businesses and organisations through this transitional period and beyond. If you wish to discuss these changes in further detail or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us either by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 0333 8000 300.
Further information and a copy of the Automatic Fire Alarm Tri-Service procedure is available on the Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue website by visiting https://www.notts-fire.gov.uk/BusinessSafety/Pages/AFA-Procedure.aspx