NEW CANAAN, Conn. – New Canaan firefighters responded to fewer calls in 2012. Perhaps more importantly, they were answering fewer false alarms.
According to Fire Department statistics, the New Canaan Fire Department responded to 1,084 calls in 2012, which is 46 fewer than the 1,130 calls they answered in 2011.
The total number of actual fire calls was up with 78 fire calls last year to 69 two years ago. One of the fires was a January blaze that destroyed a home on Fawn Lane. A fire in April destroyed a Frogtown Lane home owned by New Canaan Country School and was occupied by one of its teachers.
The department also had to respond to 90 rescue and medical calls in 2012, one more than a year earlier.
But Assistant Fire Chief John Hennessey says he’s happiest with the reduction in false alarms. Firefighters responded to 439 false alarms in 2012, down from 541 in 2011. New Canaan firefighters were called to 495 false alarms in 2010.
Hennessey credits the reduction in false alarm calls to residents monitoring their smoke alarms and home protection systems, such as shutting systems off when homes are being repaired so they’re not activated during the work, keeping fresh batteries in smoke detectors and keeping dust and dirt away from the detectors.
“I think the (New Canaan) Fire Marshal’s Office has been good about following up on malfunctions to make sure they call for service and we’ve had very few repeat offenders,” Hennessey said. “In the past, we would go back to the same addresses a lot.”
Firefighters had to respond to 52 severe weather calls. Many of those came after Hurricane Sandy, Hennessey said, as trees fell all over town and power was knocked out for more than a week last November.