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An Important Look Into Fire Department Response Times

Posted on: May 1st, 2012 by 0jifdnguu No Comments

When battling fires every second counts. On average it only takes 10 minutes for a fire to spread in a building without sprinklers.

That’s why fire department response times are very important.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are more than 350,000 residential building fires every year. These blazes annually cause more than:

  • 2,000 deaths
  • 12,000 injuries
  • $6 billion in property damage

A quick response by your local fire department can make the difference between losing and saving your home.

So how much time should it take for a fire department to respond?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says that telephone dispatchers should take no more than 60 seconds to alert the fire department. The fire department should take no more than 5 minutes to arrive when alerted of the blaze.

Taking more than 5 minutes can be catastrophic.

In 2009, it took a Boston area fire department 11 minutes to respond to a residential fire. By the time the fire fighters arrived, the house was destroyed. In cases like these, budget cuts and layoffs are often the culprits for slow response times.

Are fire departments meeting response time standards?

When it comes to meeting the 5-minute standard, that’s a difficult question to answer. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, U.S. city fire departments measure their response times differently.

Some fire departments count the dispatch call times within their overall response time. Others do not.

The Wall Street Journal article noted that the Los Angles Fire Department counted the dispatch call within their response time for many years. Then, they decided to remove it to decrease their response time.

For homeowners, it’s important to consider fire department response times when developing a fire emergency plan. Check with your local fire department to see how long it takes them to respond to fires. See if they include dispatch calls within the response time.

When thinking about fire safety, you will want to consider a fire alarm system from Hue & Cry Security Systems. Fire alarms help save homes. Your standard smoke detector can’t alert emergency responders.

A fire alarm can be the difference that allows fire fighters to arrive at your home in less than 5 minutes. To find out more, contact us today at 1-800-762-3196.

We’d love to hear from you! What do you think of your local fire department? Leave your comments below.

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