Fire chiefs in the north-east have warned false alarm activations at Aberdeen high-rises are leaving the service’s resources depleted.
Aberdeen City Council’s public protection committee heard the number of times firefighters are called to alarm activations in tower blocks in Aberdeen is equivalent to an entire year of call-outs for one station.
Area commander Bruce Farquharson said the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is legally required to attend all alarm activations.
Although systems have been put in place which allow the service to send fewer appliances than normal, they are still required to attend to ensure the site is safe.
And he warned the issues were causing a “significant drain on resources”.
Mr Farquharson said: “We are required to respond to any alarm activation in relation to a fire.
“We can build in systems which allow a small delay to let on-site staff deal with a situation before we are notified.
“We can also reduce the number of appliances attending calls at certain premises if there are large numbers of false alarm activations.
“However, if we are notified of a fire we revert to the full complement.
“But there is no doubt that false alarm activations are a major drain on our resources.
“The figures for activations in high-rises alone correlates to the entire number of call-outs for a station in one year.
“We have done work with our partners in the police and council which has been successful, but it is an ongoing problem.”
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Councillor Gordon Townson said: “I was surprised to hear that the number of call-outs for high-rises was so high.
“But I am pleased there are systems in place which allow the fire service to reduce their attendance.”
Committee convener Jennifer Stewart said: “It is a staggering statistic that the numbers are so high.
“It is clearly a huge drain on the resources of the fire service who do such a great job of keeping people safe.”