Author Topic: Notification of evacuation drills  (Read 11721 times)

Offline shaunmckeever

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Notification of evacuation drills
« on: April 08, 2006, 02:17:08 PM »
I have recently carried out an evacuation drill of a large complex. I, rather stupidly, forgot to notify the brigade concerned and as a result they sent their normal attendance to the complex. As a result of making the attendance the orgaisation I was acting on behalf of were billed for the second appliance. No doubt this bill will be passed on to me.

My concern is that there is inconsistency of approach by different brigades. One very large Metropolitan brigade for example does not want to be informed of evacuation drills and will continue to send a normal attendance if they receive a call to the building.

I accept my error and I undertstand the reasons why appliances should not be mobilised unnecessarily but surely this approach should apply to all brigades.

Offline AnthonyB

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Notification of evacuation drills
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2006, 10:02:37 PM »
Normally you do not inform the fire service as most unwanted attendances to fire drills are the result of Alarm Receiving Centre calls resulting from your panel's remote monitoring link. Few systems are linked directly to fire service controls and even fewer have autodiallers and continous reel message tapes.

Prior to a drill we will take a system off watch with the Receiving Centre so they will not call the brigade & if the procedure has designated persons to dial 999 on alarm signal only (i.e. before confirmation of fire) they are told of the exact time of the drill & not to call 999.

The only embarrassing incident of the fire service turning up to a drill I've had was to my first ever one many years ago. i asked the managing agent's surveyor if there was an ARC link or autodialler - he said no; the key people in the tenancies had prior knowledge, yet a couple of minutes into the drill two pumps turn up. Red faced I explained it was only a drill & asked how they were called - they stated an ARC had called them. Perplexed by this I then noticed the adjacent property seemed to have evacuated as well. Upon questioning people from this building it transpired that although my building's IP had no ARC link, it did in fact have a relay to the adjacent buildings panel which did. Sadly my buildings agent, who should have a good knowledge of the premises didn't even know it. To worsen the day the call point used to activate the drill promptly failed and stuck in FIRE condition and I couldn't reset the system and had to wait three hours for an emergency call out engineer to come and fit a new call point........

Brigades have had different approaches, but they are all supposed to be adopting the CACFOA guidance on monitored alarms, which brings policy in line with the ACPO guide for security alarms, where a single false alarm will bring a ticking off, but a history of false alarms will rsult in a progressively lesser response until they will not respond to a call inititated by the fire alarm, but only to a person making a 999 call of a confirmed fire.
Anthony Buck
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messy

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Notification of evacuation drills
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2006, 08:40:23 AM »
Shaun

About 4 years ago, I was involved in a project to drive down unwanted fire signals to one of the worst offenders in London, unsurprisingly a large NHS establishment.

As part of that project (and as a request of the NHS fire safety advisor!)the possibility of charging was considered. The LFB legal team advised that it was not possible to charge a fee for attending 'false' AFA calls as they were considered to be 'fire' calls and FRS could only charge for special service calls.

Do I take it that with the passing of the FS Act 47, charges can now be levied or is this FRS winging it?

I am also interested (if you are able to say) to discover the amount charged and why it was for the 2nd appliance

Offline shaunmckeever

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Notification of evacuation drills
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2006, 09:50:26 AM »
Messy, I'm not sure what fee has been charged by the FA. I am sure I will find out in due course and I will let you know. I would imagine that the brigade concerned do not perceive this as being a 'false' call but I do not know the legal complexities or if I or my client would have a basis for appeal. I suspect that I am just going to have to learn a lesson and be more careful in future. I just wish all brigades would adopt the same policy.

One particular brigade not a million miles from where I live couldn't be more helpful. They record how many calls they receive and report back to me. This then gets fed back to the clients.

Anthony the building concerned is not linked to an ARC, security staff dial 999 on any operation of the fire alarm.

Offline Firewolf

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Notification of evacuation drills
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2006, 09:17:26 AM »
I note one occassion I did an evacuation , we did not inform my local brigade control, because the only means of calling for the brigade were via our security ersonnel on the "9s".

Even still unfortunately three appliances turned out.The reason  was that a passer by heard the fire alarms go off and dialled 999!!

Probably a rare scenario these days but nevertheless worth keeping in mind.
BE ALERT BE VIGILANT BE SAFE  (c)

Offline AnthonyB

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Notification of evacuation drills
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2006, 09:24:19 PM »
This thread might get more responses if it was moved to the 'Fire safety' forum - it seems more suited to this than the brigade control forum
Anthony Buck
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