Businesses responsible for “false alarms” wasting firefighters’ time will be fined after a new rule comes into effect today.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue are introducing charges for businesses that generate three false alarms in a 12-month period.

The £350 charge was approved in November, and an 18-month pilot period starts today.

Fines can be handed out if the force receives a report of a fire from a non-domestic property due to a malfunctioning alarm or false reports.

The service says it will help recover costs.

Around 16 per cent of all call outs are false alarms.

Fire protection manager Chris Kemp said it should encourage firms to be responsible.