Regina Fire to charge false alarm fees as of July 1

Starting Monday, July 1, 2019, if Regina firefighters are called out to a false alarm, the property owner could be billed.

Randy Ryba, the city’s fire marshal, says his crews respond to between 12,000 and 15,000 false alarms every year at an annual cost of roughly $350,000, and it’s posing real problems.

“When you remove one (fire engine) — or sometimes we get simultaneous false alarms — it puts strain on resources, and it takes us out of our districts should another emergency happen,” he explained. “That means that (fire) hall is down one apparatus, so we’re moving trucks around to backfill that truck. If it was in the hall, it could be responding to a bona fide emergency.”

A false alarm is when a device, such as a failing smoke detector or security system, calls crews out when there is no sign of a fire. False alarms often are triggered by things like construction dust, paint fumes or steam from showers, for example.

According to Ryba, as long as there is smoke, heat or flames involved, it’s a real fire emergency.

Property owners will receive no charge and a warning letter for their first false alarm, a $300 fee for their second and a $600 fee for every one after that.

Bystanders who call 911 if they think they see a fire will not be charged the fee; the bill will go to the property owner instead.

Source Regina CJME News