ShareThis Page

False alarms draw real fines

| Thursday, July 13, 2006

If there's an alarm, there had better be a fire.

That's what Marshall officials are telling people after passing ordinances that fine residents and businesses when false fire alarms force police and firefighters to respond.

"It's more of an issue with the firefighters," said Jason Bragunier, a Marshall supervisor and volunteer firefighter. "When you get up at 3 a.m. for a false alarm, it wears on you."

Because Marshall shares a police force with Pine, Bradford Woods and Richland, Marshall supervisors Chairman Bob Fayfich said all four municipalities are passing the same fines for false alarms for fires that force Northern Regional police to respond.

Police fines start at $50 for first offenders but that could be waived if the owner can provide proof that the alarm is properly maintained. The second offense is also $50 and goes up $25 for each successive false alarm.

However, if the fire department responds first, fines in Marshall start at $100 for the first time and go to $300 for each incident thereafter.

If both police and fire respond in Marshall, the owner will face double fines.

Fayfich said the fire department responded to 55 false alarms last year, most from faulty electronic alarms. Police numbers were not immediately available.

Marshall already had fines in place for false alarms, but the new ordinance formalizes the police fines with neighboring municipalities.

"The reason for the difference between the fire and police fines is that police are already on duty and can respond," Marshall Manager Neil McFadden said. "With the fire department, they're called out and it involves a lot more people."

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me