Excessive false alarms put the public at risk. There is an additional risk of creating a traffic hazard when our units respond to calls that serve no purpose. When our units are tied up on a false alarm call, they aren’t available for valid emergencies. When this occurs, we have to send another unit from a greater distance to provide service.
The Fire District understands false alarms are going to occur, it’s the nature of the business. We are also sensitive to the fact that acts of nature or accidents resulting in damage or activation of the system also occur. The intent of the false alarm program is to reduce the number of repeated false alarms coming from a few locations. Only rarely do we get multiple activations with little or no effort made by the occupant to eliminate the cause.
The primary purpose of this program is to ensure false alarms are reduced by utilizing early notification, recommendations from our field staff and then monetary fines as a penalty for non-compliance.
The False Alarm Policy is written as follows:
Per the current Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection District Ordinance for Adoption of the California Fire Code:
False Alarms: False alarms shall not be given, signaled or transmitted or caused or permitted to be given, signaled or transmitted. The Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection may adopt by resolution reasonable fees to recover the costs associated with responses to buildings or structures that have excessive false alarms.
The purpose of this ordinance is to promote the responsible use of fire alarm systems, to set forth additional regulations for the use of fire alarm systems and to provide for service fees and for cost recovery of service fees for violations of this policy. Furthermore, the provisions of this ordinance are intended to reduce the number of false alarm activations and responses by the Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection District.
False alarm shall mean an activated fire alarm or fire alarm signal from any fire alarm system which is responded to by the Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection District but for which no emergency situation exists, or where there is no evidence to indicate that there was an emergency situation as determined by the responding personnel.
Fees for Excessive False Alarm Responses: Fees shall be levied and paid by the responsible party (owner or lessee) of a location that includes a fire alarm system, based on the total number of false alarms which generate a fire company’s response to the location during the same calendar year (January 1 to December 31). False Alarm fees are established by District Resolution and may be annually revised per the CPI. A copy of the most recent false alarm fee schedule can be provided upon request, or is available on the District website www.scfpd.us under Fire Prevention / Inspection Programs / False Alarm Program.
The Fire Chief shall cause to be issued a monthly bill for the unpaid service charges accrued during the billing period and prior periods. Such bill shall be due and payable within thirty (30) days after the billing date.