Fire officers are working with Fife’s health chiefs in a bid to cut the number of false alarms at Kirkcaldy’s Victoria Hospital.
Firefighters received 38 unnecessary call outs to the acute hospital between April and September last year, 13 more than to all the nursing homes in the Kirkcaldy area put together.
Although the fire service said it was the lowest false alarm rate recorded by the hospital for the period in five years and is in line with the British standard, a pledge has been made to reduce the figure further to protect firefighters and the wider community.
Kirkcaldy fire station manager Steven Michie said Scottish Fire and Rescue Service policy dictated a full response must be sent to a hospital in the event of a fire alarm.
“There would be five appliances – four normal high appliances and a height appliance,” he said.
“It means other appliances will have to be brought in to back-fill for stations.”
He added: “The biggest risk to my staff and road users is appliances moving. I have a specific agenda to reduce that for my staff and for communities.”
Mr Michie has the authority to review whether a full response is always required and has been working with NHS Fife’s facilities director to categorise the hospital’s estate.
“It will take 12 to 18 months to put in place,” he said.
He revealed the situation was already improving at the Victoria.
“They’ve recorded the least amount ever these last three months,” he said.
“It’s only a priority for me because it’s a massive estate and a massive alarm system.”
False fire alarms have increased generally across the Kirkcaldy area.
Mr Michie said unwanted activations from ordinary houses had increased substantially from 11 to 43 and now accounted for the highest number of false alarms.
This has been put down to more support being given to vulnerable people in their own homes and a higher use of community alarms and telecare.
The fire service works with health and social care staff after activations involving clients to ensure they have everything they need to keep them safe.