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The Sacramento City Council passed an ordinance on July 24th that added Section 8.38 to the Sacramento City Code relating to fines for false fire alarms. More commonly referred to as the “false fire alarm code” the decision stems from the fire departments increasing concern that false fire alarm calls are reducing their capability and readiness for actual emergencies. Not only are false calls a negative draw on department time and resources, but they also limit personnel and decrease the responsibility of fire alarm system owners.

The city’s staff report contributes the majority of the 2,968 false fire alarm calls in 2011 to a, “lack of maintenance of automatic systems”.

Sacramento is seeking to initiate a program that will reduce this false call number by providing an incentive to maintaining alarm systems so they remain in optimal condition. In other words, the city will begin levying fees to commercial and residential properties after the third false call. The fee schedule is yet to be established by the council. Read page 4 of the report to view the program.

Other cities in California that have similar reduction programs in place include Fresno, South San Francisco, Sunnyvale, Oakland, Stockton, Roseville, West Sacramento, and Yuba City.

The report states that the public was notified of the proposed ordinance. No responses, questions, or objections were brought forward after two public forums and 82 communications sent out to stakeholder groups.