Stockholm: Taxpayers and businesses are hit with a bill of about USD 3.8 million each year to pay for false fire alarms, or 96 percent, in Stockholm, media reported Sunday.
Only four percent of automatic fire alarms triggered in Stockholm during 2013 required any actual fire-fighting action, Xinhua reported.
During 2013, just over 3,400 automatic fire alarms went off in Stockholm. Only 149 required fire-fighting action. The remaining false alarms meant fire brigades just had to turn back home again. Nationally, the figure is 34,879 automatic fire alarms,5.5 percent of which required action by firefighters.
"Of course it can feel unnecessary, but we still go. We treat all alarms the same way," Pelle Rytterlund, head of the rescue department of Stockholm fire defence area.
Filipsson, spokesperson for Stockholm fire defence area, told the newspaper that false alarms have increased. Some of them are due to technical faults, whereas others are caused by smoke or heat from cooking or maintenance workers.
The owner of the building is responsible for the cost of unnecessary alarms, with councils and businesses among those footing the bills.
"It is a large problem financially because a lot of alarms are triggered unnecessarily, generating costs for our members. The low reliability of automatic alarms is unfortunate," Per Geijer, security manager at the Swedish Trade Association, said.
But at the same time he conceded that automatic alarms have to stay as businesses want to capture the small percentage that are triggered by actual fires.