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Fire chiefs spend thousands on plastic pointing hands

By SWEPnino  |  Posted: June 14, 2013

Comments (3)

Fire chiefs have spent thousands of pounds on pointing plastic hands on sticks for homeowners to press buttons on their smoke alarms. 

The red plastic sticks, which have a white hand with a pointed finger outstretched at the end, are distributed during home fire safety checks, and are to be used to press the test button on ceiling-mounted smoke alarms. 

A Freedom of Information request submitted by the Evening Post revealed Mid and West Fire and Rescue Service (MWWFRS) bought a total of 10,000 ofthe sticks, at a cost of £1.75 each - a total of £17,500. 

Fire Authority member Gordon Walker said: "It is absolutely ridiculous waste of money, particularly when budgets are so tight for public services. 

"All people have to do is use a broom handle or something similar". 

The sticks are approximately 62 cm long, or almost 2.5 foot. 

A MWWFRS spokesman said the sticks were specifically for the elderly and immoble, so they would not have to use a stool or stepladder to test their alarms, and had been bought with Welsh Government funding.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Chris Davies, director of risk said: "As the statistics show it's not enough to have a smoke alarm fitted in your home – these alarms need to be tested weekly and dusted regularly to ensure they are in working order should the worst case scenario happen.

"The testing sticks have been purchased as part of our prevention and protection strategy to provide elderly and immobile members of our communities with the help they need to test and maintain their smoke alarms safely."

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3 comments

  • GSvale2  |  June 15 2013, 9:43PM

    I posted this in the first article about this. £1.75 is a ridiculous amount to pay for a plastic stick in the first place all these tax payer funded organisations really need to be acting like the private sector now. They are buying 10,000 and that's the best deal they could get, I bet they never even asked for a discount as they are so used to having an almost bottomless pot of money. Home Bargains sell a 2,5 foot long fly squatter for 80 pence, a saving of £9,500. I'm sure for 10,000 they could have got the price down to around 50 Pence if they shopped around.

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  • GorsseinonJoe  |  June 15 2013, 7:55PM

    What idiot of a public servant sat in a room with a sales rep and was persuaded to buy these idiotic items? The firm, and the rep, should get a Queen's Award for Industry for selling finger tipping sticks to a service paid for by us, the taxpayer, they certainly wouldn't have got an appointment let alone the chance to do a sales presentation in the private sector, as it is a JOKE! If £17,500 has been spent already, how many poky sticks are left or, if such a success, how many more have been ordered? Another story of public sector ineptitude and money wasting, our money wasting!

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  • brochadav  |  June 14 2013, 9:20PM

    Is it April 1st? My wife is only 5 feet tall so she uses a brush handle and can reach easily. Most ceilings these days are only 8 feet high, so stretch your arm up. At 5'7 I can reach with a little stretch. What a waste of money. Try giving our firefighters the equipment they need to protect themselves while they save lives. Not spending on a gimmick.

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