Red Deer County approves false alarm bylaw

Red Deer County council has approved a new False Alarm Bylaw in response to the many false alarm calls

Red Deer County council has approved a new False Alarm Bylaw in response to the many false alarm calls its emergency services departments receive regularly.

Even when placed unintentionally, the calls require police and firefighters to respond, resulting in the unnecessary use of time and resources when they may be urgently required elsewhere.

Property owners will pay no fee for first incident, but will pay $200 for a second incident. That number will rise to $400 for each incident thereafter, within the same calendar year.

“When police or fire are dispatched to an alarm call, it is given priority status, and will usually receive an emergency response,” states an administration report presented to council. “Each time emergency services make an emergency response, it puts people including responders at risk. When responding to false alarms, it detracts the ability of those services to respond to other incidents, needlessly tying up resources.”

A county press release noted that the purpose of the bylaw is not to generate revenue, but to make property owners accountable for their alarm systems.