ShareThis Page

Hempfield seeks end to false fire alarms

| Saturday, June 16, 2012, 2:54 p.m.

Hempfield hopes enforcement of its fire alarm ordinance will put an end to a rash of false alarms plaguing local firefighters.

Township Manager Rob Ritson told supervisors at a planning session Wednesday night that the situation has grown "habitual" with some businesses. However, he said the biggest violator is the Hempfield Area School District.

Under the ordinance, violations occur on the fourth false alarm during any 12-month period. Violators face a maximum $300 fine for each new offense.

Ritson indicated its time for a crackdown.

"We chose not to aggressively enforce (the ordinance)," Ritson said. "But it's becoming more and more habitual."

The problem, he said, stems from "faulty detectors."

While not identifying violators, he said a number of restaurants on Route 30 have repeated false alarms. Several have had the problem fixed, but only after "we really threatened them."

Ritson did not pinpoint the number of false alarms coming from the school district.

He said there are relatively few residential false alarms.

Ritson said the hope is a crackdown will help save firefighters time and fuel. One estimate is that 80 percent of alarms that volunteer emergency personnel respond to turn out to be false.

After the meeting, Ritson said enforcement would probably get under way sometime in the next two weeks.

In other activity, supervisors learned residents will be receiving brochures detailing summer recreation programs in the next week or so.

Ritson also discussed acquiring a Web site for the township. He said he has an "interactive" site in mind. The price is high, he said, but the benefits for residents and township officials would be substantial.

Ritson indicated he had been looking for grants to pay for some of the cost of creating and maintaining a site.

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