(KAIT) - An ordinance proposed by the Paragould Fire Department at a city council meeting earlier this month that would fine someone for calling in too many false alarms has passed.
According to Fire Chief Kevin Lang, if you have a false alarm twice, they will send you a letter saying your alarm needs to be fixed.
After the third time, they'll send another letter saying it if happens again you'll be charged a $500 FEE.
The ordinance will take effect in 30 days after Mayor Mike Gaskill signs it.
Lang said out of the 80 alarm calls this year, the department has received around 30 calls that were false.
Lang said each one of those calls cost the city money and the fire department crews much needed time.
"There's a lot of times that we run on false alarms whether it's being in an industrial or commercial setting; and sometimes even residential," he said. "The alarm is not because something caused it, but it's a malfunction of the equipment; and a lack of maintenance issue."
However, the department plans to create a proposal that would charge citizens $500 after their fourth false alarm call.
"After that second alarm, you're going to get a letter from us that says you've had two alarms at this location at your facility for this same item," he said. "And if you get a fourth one in that calendar year, you're going to be billed for the responses after that."
But, Lang said if you're trying to get your smoke detectors fixed and have documentation that your system provider has fixed the issue, they will waive the fee.
"We're not out trying to make money for running alarms," he said. "But, what we're trying to do is save and recoup the cities money when it's unnecessary."
Lang said the Paragould Fire Department has received a lot of support from the city's ordinance committee on the proposal.
At Monday night's meeting, the proposed ordinance passed the first reading. The second reading will take place at the next council meeting.
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