30 June 2014


DualCom SafeLink eliminates delays in calling emergency services.

A London Fire Brigade survey has highlighted an increase in fire deaths caused by a delay in alerting the emergency services. In 40% of incidents the fire service was not called until more than 10 minutes after the start of a fire. These incidents accounted for 70% of all fire deaths.

In a residential property, once a Fire has been detected and the alarm has been sounded the next crucial step is to dial 999 as soon as possible. However, by nature the care sector can often be susceptible to delays in alerting the emergency services due to time devoted to vulnerable residents following a fire alarm. Most residential and care homes use Telecare or Warden Call systems where automatic alerts should immediately be sent to control rooms or monitoring centres. There are however documented cases where designs of these systems, widely used throughout the UK have themselves caused serious delays in summoning the Fire Brigade.

Delays can occur where fire alarm systems link to the Telecare Scheme equipment. This link relies on a single telephone line to contact the control room in the event of an emergency. If a call for help is already in progress on the scheme, all subsequent fire alarm calls have to wait in a queue. They will not be dealt with until the first call is cleared down, losing valuable time. With up to 50 vulnerable people relying on a single phone line to raise the alarm it’s clear to see how residents could be at risk from a delay.

Telephone lines are also susceptible to faults or accidental cancellation and both of these circumstances would mean that emergency and fire alarm calls cannot be made. The control room would not be aware of the telephone line’s status and should a fire occur the resulting fire alarm activation will never be acknowledged. Housing Associations, Landlords and Local Authorities are responsible under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 to carry out Fire Risk Assessments on all their properties. The designated Responsible Person should always seek to determine who calls the emergency services in the event of a fire alarm activation. It is also important to consider how and when this is call made and if it is the most appropriate method. To answer all these questions and at a cost far less than installing and renting a separate telephone line, many are choosing to install DualCom SafeLink

DualCom SafeLink is a telephone line monitoring device that is quickly and easily fitted to any scheme. No matter the status of the telephone line, SafeLink can signal both telephone line problems and fire alarms into any Telecare control room. 

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