East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service attended a number of incidents over the weekend.
At 21:29 on 27 July, two fire engines attended a flat on Preston Park Avenue, Brighton. There were reports of smoke coming from the building and an alarm sounding. Crews discovered that it had been set off by fumes from cooking.
At 20:01 on 28 July, two fire engines were sent to a flat on Walpole Terrace in Brighton following reports of a smell of burning from a first floor flat. A pan of food has been burnt but there was no fire.
At 03:15 on 29 July, three fire engines were sent to a restaurant in Eastbourne on Grove Road. There was a fire in the group floor shop front. Two breathing apparatus were used along with a thermal imaging camera, a covering jet and a PPV fan to clear the smoke.
The majority of the other calls were false alarms and the Service is asking businesses and residents to help reduce the number of these types of calls.
Remember, fire alarm systems are there to alert occupants to the fact that there may be a fire and depending on your fire risk assessment and emergency plans. It usually is appropriate to investigate first and only to call the Fire Service if / when there are any signs to indicate that there is a fire.
If you have an automatic alarm system, make sure it is installed correctly, that you know how it works and it is serviced regularly by a competent person. The British Standards Institute's BS 5839 has recommendations for the planning, design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of these systems. Follow these, and a false alarm issue is unlikely to occur.
Log and investigate false alarms to identify patterns and trends.
Be aware that steam and dust can trigger fire alarms and take precautions when possible.
Make sure staff and residents know what to do when the alarm goes off.
If you do have a fire, please call 999 immediately. Please do not put yourself at risk and only attempt to use an extinguisher if trained and it is safe to do so.