North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service has announced it will not send firefighters to attend automatic fire alarms between 8am and 6pm at premises where people do not sleep, and will reduce attendance to high-risk properties at night unless a fire has been confirmed.
In response, Steve Howley, Fire Brigades Union secretary for North Yorkshire, said:
â€œThese dangerous proposals seem motivated by a senseless cuts agenda, and will put lives at risk, threaten local businesses existence and could seriously damage the economy of North Yorkshire.
â€œFirefighters are highly-trained professionals and their expertise is required to assess the seriousness of risk.
â€œIgnoring fire alarms will mean people are less likely to leave burning buildings in time, particularly vulnerable groups like the elderly, the sick and children, and firefighters will arrive later, increasing the risk of damage to property and loss of life, particularly at night when fewer people are around to confirm a fire.â€
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