Police warn false alarms could cost lives

The 911 Emergency Communications Centre is reminding the business community that panic alarms are there for a specific purpose and should only be used for that purpose.

Over the past eight months police have responded to 34 panic alarms of which only two or three were genuine, said a RCIP press release.

‘Thirty false alarms in eight months really is an unacceptable figure,’ said 911 Communications Centre Manager Juliette Gooding.

‘We have even had cases of businesses setting off panic alarms to test the police response. This is not only endangering the responders who put themselves in danger every time they respond to a call in emergency mode, but also those people who may be in the business at the time of the call.’

Police Commissioner Stuart Kernohan added: ‘Obviously some businesses need panic alarms and we would not want to discourage people from using them if they have a real emergency, after all that is what they are there for. But, the Emergency Services have specific roles to fulfil and one of those is to protect life.

‘If officers are constantly tied up with false alarms it will only be a matter of time before they are delayed in getting to a real emergency.’

Businesses that want to test any type of alarm are asked to contact the 911 Communication Centre offices on 949-9008 beforehand to work out the logistics.

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