Perth premises pay up $1m in fines after DFES target false fire alarms

October 27, 2016

PERTH premises have been billed for more than $1 million this year as part of a crackdown on false fire alarms.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services has already been called out nearly 8,000 times to buildings where there was no fire.

New data has revealed the cost of carelessness at homes, businesses and care facilities.

Since a $750 fee was introduced in January to target repeat offenders, more than 1,500 invoices have been issued. That was despite the penalty only being applied after four false alarms are triggered at the same building.

The list of offenders is also reset annually at the start of July, giving each location a fresh set of strikes.

“The fee was introduced as part of a strategy to encourage residents and businesses to take appropriate steps to avoid false fire alarms,” DFES governance and strategy executive director Suzanne Paterson said.

“This will help ensure firefighters are available to attend real emergencies and better protect the community.

“The fee is aimed at recouping the cost of responding to false fire alarms.”

Apartment complexes were the most common property type where fire crews found an absence of flames after responding to an alarm.

Aged care facilities were next on the list, followed by commercial offices. Shops and shopping centres were the next-highest number of false alarms, with hospitals rounding out the top five.

DFES defined a false fire alarm as: “When DFES attends a premises in response to an alarm when there is no fire.”

The data showed that from January 11 to October 19, the department attended 7,847 false fire alarms, and issued 1,504 invoices.

As well keeping any eye on cooking, residents and workers were advised to ensure D.I.Y does not trigger alarms by “protecting and isolating detectors when undertaking work which generates dust, smoke, and steam”.



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