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Fines could be levied for excessive false fire alarms in Great Falls

Great Falls Fire Rescue
Posted at 5:47 PM, Dec 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-20 19:51:17-05

Great Falls City Commissioners have approved two new ordinances that they hope will help Great Falls Fire Rescue. 

The first ordinance allows fines to be issued to businesses who have three false fire alarms within a 365-day period.

The fines begin at $100 and with continued negligence could go as high as $500 or jail time. 

“The reasoning behind this ordinance is safety, anytime an alarm goes off you will get a fire battalion and three fire trucks, and that puts our guys at risk as well as the public, because they don’t always know how to interact with emergency vehicles.” explained Fire Marshal Mike McIntosh. 

Here is the full text of a news release from GFFR:

The Great Falls City Commission has passed Ordinance 3233 brought forward by Great Falls Fire Rescue. Ordinance 3233 will go into effect beginning in January 2022. Ordinance 3233, addresses Fire Alarms and Alarms Systems.

Ordinance 3233 lists the requirements for audible alarms, requiring every person maintaining an audible alarm to notify the Police Department and/or Great Falls Fire Rescue with names and telephone numbers of the persons to be notified to render repairs of service, and secure the premises, during and hour of the day or night that the alarm is actuated. Whenever any change occurs to the required written information, the applicant shall give written notice thereof to the Great Falls Police Department and/or Great Falls Fire Rescue of such change.

Ordinance 3233 also requires that all persons engaged in alarm business to repair, service, alter, replace, remove, design, sell, lease, maintain, or install alarm systems, shall obtain an Alarm Agent license from Planning and Community Development.

Ordinance 3233, establishes a fee for repeated false activation of alarm systems. A first or second false alarm during any 365-day period will result in a written notice being provided to the owner, licensee and/or other person responsible for the premises. A third or subsequent alarm during any 365-day period will result in an assessed administrative fee of $100.00 on the owner, licensee, and/or other person responsible for the premises.

The second ordinance that was approved is an improvement to safety inspections and submitted reports. The ordinance requires outside inspectors to obtain a safety inspection certificate specifically for the Great Falls area. It will also require reports to be submitted through a third-party server so that all safety departments will be notified.