Unwanted or False Alarms

 

Did you know that 98% of the alarm calls to which the Pitt Meadows Fire & Rescue Service responds turn out to be false alarms? The majority of false alarms can be attributed to one of the following causes:

  • System malfunction;
  • Construction or renovation work;
  • System testing;
  • Water leak impacting the alarm system;
  • Operator error;
  • Cooking;
  • Steam; (do not install a smoke alarm directly outside a bathroom) or
  • Dust on a smoke alarm (often caused by contractors working on site).

Although smoke alarms in single family homes are not required to be monitored under the BC Fire Code, many homeowners choose to have a monitored fire alarm.  If this applies to you, ensure that your monitoring company is instructed to attempt to contact you or a designated person at your home, or a trusted neighbour, in order to verify a fire condition or confirm the fire alarm is a false, or “unwanted” alarm.  These unwanted alarms create a burden for the Fire Service, preventing the department from being available to respond to a true emergency.  Further, homeowners are billed under the provisions of the City of Pitt Meadows Fire Protection and Life Safety Bylaw No. 2405 for false alarms, with fines of up to $500 per incident.  If the monitoring company cannot reach a contact person, they must then immediately contact fire dispatch.  Fire crews will then respond.