False alarm? Effects of reducing unnecessary dispatches by fire and rescue services

Studio Apertura
​​Fire and rescue services in Norway dispatch more often to false and unnecessary alarms than to real fires and accidents. In 2016, 60% of the emergency dispatches were conducted on the basis of false or unnecessary alarms. These unnecessary dispatches are costly in terms of time and resources spent, and can in some cases lead to a weakened preparedness towards real incidents. Also, the risk for traffic accidents increases when big vehicles rush through the streets on their way to where the alarm was triggered. Hence, there are good reasons to work to reduce the number of these kind of dispatches. On the other hand, one may also argue that there can be some positive effects of a certain number of mobilizations for the fire crews. Based on interviews with relevant actors connected to fire and rescue services, as well as on statistics collected through the BRIS reporting system, we will discuss possible consequences of reducing the number of false and unnecessary alarms and potential effects of implementing measures for decreasing unnecessary dispatches. ​