Fire services will begin enforcement of false alarm fines

Updated false alarm bylaw went into effect Jan. 1

Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service

Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service’s (AFRS) updated false alarm bylaw came into effect Jan. 1.

Under the bylaw, a false alarm includes the activation of a fire alarm system that requires an unwarranted attendance by fire services.

This includes situations where the fire alarm system has malfunctioned or was activated maliciously, the cause of the alarm cannot be determined, the alarm results from a security alarm system being routed to AFRS, or if the alarm was activated in error.

Fines will be given if the alarm was activated during unauthorized testing, or an owner or occupier fails to notify the monitoring company or fire services when carrying out testing, repair, and/or maintenance to a fire alarm system, and such failure results in the activation of the alarm system and fire services responds.

Fire services states the bylaw helps ensure fire services can to respond to emergencies in a timely manner.

When council passed the bylaw back in November, fire chief Don Beer said the intent is not to make money, but to hold people accountable for false alarms due to improper alarm maintenance or use.

AFRS is reminding citizens to have fire alarms serviced regularly. An alarm that repeatedly goes off could be indicative of a faulty alarm system and should be serviced, and repairing it will help prevent false alarms, and can help save lives.

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