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Kent Fire and Rescue Service 'will not charge' for false alarms like London Fire Brigade

PUBLISHED: 12:19 30 December 2013 | UPDATED: 12:30 30 December 2013

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Kent Fire and Rescue Service claims it has no plans to fine people for false alarms following the London Fire Brigade's introduction of hefty charges.

Public buildings in London will now be charged £290 every time firefighters are called for a false alarm if there have been 10 or more in a year.

But the Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) said it does not need fines because of its new policy on automatic alarms.

A spokesman said: “The root of the problem is effective management of the alarm system so it does not produce false alarms.

“Therefore, KFRS policy is to reduce the number of calls that we receive and respond to by working with system owners to help them understand how they can better take responsibility for their systems and manage them more effectively, rather than charging for unwanted calls.”

Since April, all premises in Kent or Medway reporting an automatic alarm have needed to confirm to 999 staff there are signs of a fire before engines are sent.

From then until August 30, the new rules meant firefighters did not have to attend 981 false alarms.

The brigade said it has been working with businesses and alarm companies over the last three years to reduce the number of unwanted calls.

The number of false alarms from automatic systems has fallen by 65 per cent since April 2012.

The Localism Act 2011 gave fire authorities the right to charge for attending repeat unwanted calls to automatic fire alarm systems.

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