Parrot-powered “fire alarm” fooled firefighters


A recent suspected fire in Northamptonshire turned out to be something else entirely once firefighters arrived on the scene.

Steve Dockerty, 63, received a call from his alarm company to check that everything was fine, since his fire alarm had gone off. This time, the alarm was a false activation, and Steve Dockerty assured them that everything was indeed fine.

Unfortunately, unknown to Steve, his 17-year-old African Grey parrot was overheard down the phone doing such a good imitation of a fire alarm that the company believed the alarm was still sounding and decided to call the emergency services!

The firefighters rushed round, much to Steve’s surprise, and it was only then that they heard the parrot do his imitation again and realised what must have happened.

Jazz the parrot is described by his owner as a “cheeky sod” who likes to imitate things in order to attraction attention, including people, the telephone, and now the fire alarm!

Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Watch Commander, Norman James, said: ‘In some properties, smoke alarms are monitored by an alarm-receiving company.

‘When an alarm is activated, they endeavour to make contact with the resident to establish whether there is a fire or if it is a false activation.

‘On this occasion, it appears that while the monitoring company were on the phone to the householder, they could hear a continued alarm in the background and notified the fire service as a precaution.”

Tensor Automated Fire Roll Call – Fast, Efficient and Accurate

We can’t promise you an exciting parrot for your workplace fire alarm activations, but here at Tensor we can promise you no confusion over fire roll call, thanks to our automated roll call feature.

Why do you need an automated fire roll call feature?

Many companies have an informal method of checking attendance at a fire drill, such as “calling names from a register” of everyone who works in the entire company and ticking the responders off manually, or relying on department managers to do “a quick head-count”.

These methods seem obvious and simple, but they have several disadvantages. Firstly, a “call and respond” register runs the risk of missing out people who are stood at the very back, or who for another reason would have trouble hearing or shouting out. A quick head-count only works in small departments where everyone is known by name and sight, so it wouldn’t be effective in larger departments.

Most importantly, both of these methods completely overlook visitors in the building. This may be customers, other business representatives who have come in for a meeting, or even less expected people such as contract cleaners or repairers called in to fix a specific mess.

These people are very unlikely to be familiar with your fire alarm procedure, and may in fact be unfamiliar with the layout of the building to know how to get out.

As you can see it is therefore vital to know everyone who is inside the building.

Our automated fire roll call feature is very simple and gives comprehensive coverage when linked to a good time and attendance system, access control system and visitor management system.

When the fire alarm is triggered, our central WinTA.NET system automatically prompts two printers, which have been hooked into the system, to print a list of everyone who is clocked into the building.

This does require you to have a clocking in system. We can offer you either physical terminals, which can be operated with smart-cards or biometrics (fingerprints), or a web/mobile phone based Self Service Module (SSM) which can record clocking in and out with one click. Our access control system also enables you to programme certain doors to open immediately when a fire alarm goes off.

Our Visitor Management System ensures all visitors are clocked into the system as their arrive in the building, thus adding them safely to the fire roll call list.

For more information on our fast, efficient and accurate automated fire roll call system, please contact us.

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