When an intruder alarm or automatic fire alarm is activated, the next logical step is to find out what is happening as quickly as possible, to limit the potential loss. With health and safety being mandatory and of paramount importance, it is not acceptable to send any member of staff into a potentially hazardous environment without a full risk assessment, training, and equipment. Essential items should at least be a stab-proof vest, slash-proof gloves, wrist protectors, and control room backup.
If a member of staff is the first responder when an alarm is activated, that designated individual would normally have to wake up, get dressed, drive to work, and then start to figure out what to do. Vital time is lost, not only for the duration of the call out, but also the downtime the next day if the call out is during unsocial hours and of an extended duration. There is a duty of care, not only for the time at the premises, but also from the time the call is received, the drive there and back, as well as the hazards that may be encountered.
In the event of any staff accident, questions may be asked about sleep times, work hours, and call out rotas. It is the responsibility of the directors or partners of any business to respect the responder’s welfare. If an injury does occur, penalties, legal action, and even a criminal investigation could be instigated if this is not done correctly.
When we are called out to your premises, we will ascertain the reason for the call. In the event of a break-in, fire, or another serious emergency, we will escalate the call in accordance with your prearranged instructions. If it is a small incident or false alarm, we will let you and your staff continue to relax and leave a report.
The police and fire service will not always attend alarm activations. At many of our clients’ businesses, the emergency services will only respond when they have a manual confirmation of an incident. This is due to staffing levels, costs, and the huge number of call outs they receive on a daily basis. As we are already out on the road, vital minutes are saved, as our attendance times are rapid and well within the British Standard recommended times.
Some insurance companies also insist on a rapid first attendance within the British Standards recommendations. Failure to adhere to these response times could lead to some claims being voided by some insurance companies.
A fire alarm activation was received at our control room, and when we arrived, we detected a fire inside the building. The fire service received manual confirmation from us and they immediately attended. Without our rapid response, the building would have been a total loss. The insurance investigation that followed confirmed that from the time of the call received at our control room to the time we were in attendance and called the fire service, nine minutes had elapsed. The insurance claim was honoured. The response times were verified by both the insurance company and the West Midlands Fire Service control room during the investigation that followed. Further information:
Time: 1:12 a.m.
Automatic Fire Alarm
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in Birmingham, West Midlands, to hear more about our security services.