From April 2023 the emergency service will change the way it reacts to “unwanted” fire alarm signals throughout Scotland and instead put in place new measures which confirm a fire is underway before teams are deployed to the scene.
The move will only affect non-domestic properties such as shops, offices, factories and warehouses – but hospitals and residential care homes will be exempt.
The issue was discussed at the most recent Dennistoun area partnership.
Barry Cranstoun, station commander, said: “From April 2023, we will not attend to automatic fire alarm signals. There will be a call and challenge process and unless there is a confirmed fire we will not respond.
“However, hospitals will not be included in this move and there will be an exemption for recognised sleeping risks such as residential care.
“I am telling you that now, as April 2023 will come round before we know it and businesses will ask questions. There will be a wee bit of engagement done with our officers prior to April so people know what’s coming.”
Members of the committee agreed that the move would be welcomed by some businesses looking to keep costs down in the current economic climate.
Councillor Allan Casey said: “I was going to ask about the timescale for this change but I think you have hit the nail on the head as we have got one of the biggest hospitals in our ward itself in terms of the Royal Infirmary.
“I’m sure the business will welcome this as there may be costs associated with this when they wouldn’t necessarily be wanted the fire and rescue services to attend.
“I think this is a step in the right direction.”
Councillor Elaine McDougall added: “I appreciate you highlighting this change but there are a lot of changes coming with the cost of living crisis.
“What really worries me is that folk will start using more candles in their house rather than burn their electricity. Some people might even start buying BBQs so they can cook in their house.
“You will get people who are doing this sort of thing because they can’t afford to use their gas or electricity.”
Mr Cranstoun confirmed that these concerns had been discussed by fire and rescue teams across the wards who are looking to highlight the risks of this behaviour.
Businesses are now being encouraged to review their fire risk assessment, safety management issues and provide appropriate staff training.