Fire Service statement re its policy of response to low risk sprinklered buildings
Media statement from Fire Service Auckland Region Commander Brian Butt
The Fire Service is concerned at the misinformation being promoted by the NZ Professional Firefighters Union about the new national policy to send two appliances to investigate an automatic alarm in low risk buildings with sprinklers installed.
In almost all cases, these alarms are false alarms.
The policy introduced in April instructs dispatchers to send two pumps and eight firefighters to investigate the first alarm - as was already happening in over half of the country's sprinklered buildings. More appliances are sent immediately if there is confirmation of an actual fire.
The policy reflects the low level of risk and ensures that we have more resources available to respond to genuine emergencies which happen while we are also attending a false alarm.
Yesterday's responses to two small fires in Auckland were handled exactly as the policy intended. There are no public safety issues.
Two appliances went to investigate, found signs of smoke and more appliances were called for immediately.
In both cases, the fires were still too small to trigger the sprinklers - one was in a laundry basket the other was a mattress on fire. In both cases the two appliances sent were more than capable of dealing with the initial incident and crews followed the policy by calling for back up from other appliances as per our response for a confirmed fire.