Salisbury Fire Department responds to over 6400 calls per year with about 10% being false alarm responses. False alarms unduly delay responses to true emergencies and divert limited resources from providing necessary services.
Steps To Prevent False Fire Alarms
- Notify the 9-1-1 communications center and your alarm company before testing or repairing your system. Tell them to place the system “on test”. Call them back when testing is complete to verify system is “off test”.
- Know how to cancel a false alarm. If you are absolutely sure you know what caused the alarm, (for example, you hit an incorrect button on the alarm pad) notify the alarm company to have the fire response cancelled. If you are unsure of the alarm, allow the fire department to respond.
- Dust can set off smoke detectors. If you are spray painting, sanding floors, installing drywall, etc…there is a chance it may set off the detector. Smoke detectors can be covered when performing construction work. Remember to uncover once work is completed.
- Fire alarm systems need to be serviced regularly (once a year). You want it to perform when it is supposed and not give false alarms. Deal only with qualified, licensed professionals.
- Fire alarm equipment should be installed properly. Smoke detectors do not belong in kitchens, attics, garages or bathrooms. You may have heat detectors installed in these areas or photo-electric alarms to reduce the likelihood of false alarms.
- Make sure the alarm company has your correct contact information. The fire department will often need to refer to this information to gain access to the property if no one on site upon arrival.
By following these steps, you can do your part in reducing false alarms and therefore reducing the hassle and cost they incur.
False Alarm Fines
In an effort to reduce false alarms, risk to businesses, citizens and firefighters, and thereby improving response to other emergency calls, the City of Salisbury ordinance regarding alarms is to promote public safety while encouraging proper maintenance and use.
(Ord. No. 2006-51, § 5, 11-7-06)
An alarm user shall be subject to fines and warnings depending on the number of false alarms emitted from an alarm system within a twelve-month period from the date of the first false alarm based upon the following schedule:
||# Of False Alarms
||$50 each time
||$100 each time
||$250 each time
|10 or mores
||$500 each time
If cancellation occurs prior to a police officer's arrival on the scene (non-fire alarm), this is not a false alarm for the purpose of fines, and no fines will be assessed. However, this does not apply to fire alarm response. Since fire department officers continue to respond, even when notified that the fire alarm has been cancelled, fines (if applicable) shall still be assessed according to the schedule under subsection (a).
Payments must be received by the city within thirty (30) days or a twenty-five dollar ($25.00) late payment fee will be added to the account.