Blaring noise ‘destroys’ neighbours’ bank holiday weekend

Carolyn Harris her partner Shaun, Fran Defeo and her son Riccardo Matthews. They are neighbours who had a loud fire alarm sounding all weekend from Busy Bees nursery opposite their homes. Pic Steve Robards SR1712210 SUS-170530-145142001
Carolyn Harris her partner Shaun, Fran Defeo and her son Riccardo Matthews. They are neighbours who had a loud fire alarm sounding all weekend from Busy Bees nursery opposite their homes. Pic Steve Robards SR1712210 SUS-170530-145142001

A blaring fire alarm which sounded constantly for more than two days ended up ‘destroying’ the Bank Holiday weekend for families in a Horsham street.

Residents in Bartholomew Way were driven to the end of their tether by the loud alarm sounding at the nearby Busy Bees children’s nursery.

“It started at around 3am on Sunday morning,” said Shaun Hall, 50, “and it went on until 7.20am on Tuesday. Our bank holiday weekend was completely destroyed.”

He said he and partner Carolyn Harris, along with other neighbours in the road, had to keep the windows of their flats closed to try and keep out the noise, despite some of the warmest temperatures of the year.

Shaun said a neighbour called the alarm company on Sunday morning, but the firm said it had no contact number for a keyholder and advised her to call the police 101 non-emergency number.

Police advised the neighbours to call Horsham District Council’s emergency number and a person there called the fire brigade who established it was an internal fire alarm.

“No-one had a key holder contact so there was nothing they could do,” said Shaun. “Neither the fire brigade or police could gain access as there was no sign of a break-in or fire, so we had to put up with it.” Carolyn added: “It was just a nightmare.”

Neighbour Fran Defeo said her 18-month-old son Riccardo was constantly woken up by the sound of the alarm. “It’s been a nuisance all weekend.” She said Riccardo couldn’t sleep at night and was grumpy throughout the day because he wasn’t getting enough sleep.

In a statement, Busy Bees nursery said the alarm had malfunctioned. Nursery manager Faye Lovegrove said: “We can only sincerely apologise to the local residents for the inconvenience this has caused them over the bank holiday weekend. As soon as we were made aware of the situation a contractor was called to make repairs to the system. We value the relationship we have with our local communities and understand how disturbing this must have been to those living close to our nursery. We are investigating ways that we can be informed more quickly should an alarm malfunction in this way in the future.”