Working together to reduce false fire alarms

March 8, 2016

Working together to reduce false fire alarms

As part of its commitment to fast, efficient emergency response, Strathcona County emergency responders are educating residents and businesses on how to prevent false fire alarms. If necessary, fees may be charged for repeat false alarm calls.

“Fewer false alarms means we have appropriate resources to attend to other emergency calls,” explains Fire Chief Iain Bushell. “Emergency Services personnel will first educate the property owner or building manager about false fire alarms and the importance of a properly maintained fire alarm system. After the second response, Emergency Services personnel may use discretion when issuing a fine, depending on the circumstance.”

In 2015, Emergency Services responded to 227 commercial and 330 residential false fire alarms. Common causes of false fire alarms included cooking, a faulty alarm panel, the detector being triggered by dust or other debris in the air caused by home renovations, cooking and steam.

Regular maintenance of a fire alarm system is one of the ways to avoid a false alarm as well as ensuring the fire alarm equipment is installed properly.  Owners are asked to notify their fire alarm company if any maintenance is planned in the building that will produce a high amount of visible dust (which can set off the smoke detector).

If the fire alarm system is triggered by accident, residential property owners are asked to cancel the false alarm through their alarm company to avoid a false alarm response fee. In accordance with the Alberta Building Code, certain types of business are required to have a fire alarm system. Emergency Services will respond to all fire alarms from these types of businesses, even if the alarm is cancelled prior to the fire crew’s arrival.

Strathcona County may charge a fee to those businesses, occupancies or property owners who have more than one similar false fire alarm response per year.

Further information, including the false fire alarm fees or call 780-449-9651.

Set in the centre of Alberta’s energy and agricultural heartland, Strathcona County is a thriving, successful and vibrant community of almost 96,000 residents. Strathcona County is made up of the urban area of Sherwood Park and a large adjacent rural area of farms, acreages and smaller hamlets. It is home to 75 per cent of refining in Western Canada. With a focus on economic, governance, social, cultural and environmental sustainability, Strathcona County is committed to balancing the unique needs of its diverse community.


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Strathcona County Communications, 780-410-6595