TSA comment on recent Telecare Soapbox item

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Marian Preece, Operations Manager for the Telecare Services Association gave the following comment on the recent Telecare Soapbox: Access to emergency services: a right, entitlement or privilege? item:

TSA has worked with CFOA from 2001 to determine the correct procedures for dealing with fire alarm calls in social alarm receiving centres and the agreed procedure was then published as a joint CFOA and TSA Good Practice Guide. In 2007 CFOA began a major review of policy regarding the reduction of false alarms and unwanted fire signals. Their consultation has involved key stakeholders in the Fire Industry Association, British Security Industry Association, TSA and others. CFOA estimates that each year 285,000 false alarms from automatic fire detection apparatus are received and the review has been initiated to reduce this figure and to ensure that best practice remains current and consistent. The elderly and vulnerable people who are supported by telecare services in their homes have been at the centre of every stage of our discussions.

Throughout 2007, CFOA representatives attended regional meetings across England and Wales to discuss the issues with our members – and their views and experiences were used to shape the draft review document. Although CFOA will launch the revised document – Policy for the Reduction of False Alarms & Unwanted Signals – at its annual conference later this month the policy relating to telecare service providers is still at draft stage. TSA members can download the document in the Members’ Area of the TSA website and we will be happy to send a copy of the policy to other interested organisations by email – request a copy at admin@telecare.org.uk

TSA and CFOA are holding a joint event in Sutton Coldfield on 12 September where the updated policy will be outlined and discussed. Non members are welcome to attend.