FRUSTRATED residents have had the fire service called out 11 times this year due to a series of false alarms.

Each time the alarm goes off, tenants at Bassett Lodge are forced to leave the building in a hurry to then realise there is no actual emergency.

Firefighters say the repeated false alarms, which are due to a system fault, have caused "additional strain" on units.

Residents in the independent living facility in Bassett Avenue say they have "had enough".

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A 73-year-old resident who has lived at the site for 19 years said the false alarms are causing "panic".

She said: "We have people who have cerebral palsy, arthritis, and all sorts of other problems.

"We all leave when the fire alarm goes off and without the lift working because of the alarm system a lot of us have to use the stairs.

"It scares some tenants that there may be a real fire and we are just all cheesed off.

"We can tell the firemen are just as annoyed as we are.

"We have called our housing association so many times but their engineers have not fixed it."

A spokesman for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service said repeated false alarms are adding extra pressure.

He said: "False alarms put an additional strain on fire and rescue services across the country and we are no exception.  

"That’s why our teams continue to educate and work in partnership with our local communities to make sure we try and reduce the number of these types of calls. 

"However, we would never want to deter members of the public calling in with genuine concerns." 

Now, residents worry that fire crews will not attend due to the facility's history.

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Tony Morgan, of Hyde Housing, which owns Bassett Lodge, said: "I’d like to apologise to our residents at Bassett Lodge.

"Their safety and security is our utmost priority and fire alarms are there to keep our residents safe.

"However, this number of false alarms is extremely high and not acceptable and I understand our residents’ frustration.

"Our building safety teams have been on site to investigate the problem.

"We think that the issue could be with a magnet inside the detectors which is used to test the devices."  

Mr Morgan also said engineers would return to the site to update the alarms, "which should stop the problem".

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