Toronto levies heavy false fire alarm fines

SSN Staff  - 
Monday, November 29, 2010

TORONTO—A report from The Star says the city has taken a new, no free chances approach to false fire alarm fines.

About 1,100 homeowners have received notices of fines for false alarms since April 1, after city council heeded the fire department’s plea to wipe out a provision allowing one failure per year without charge.

Most or all received bills for $1,050 — $350 for each of three trucks routinely dispatched after a monitoring company calls in an alarm. Traditionally, most of those fined are owners of high-rises and commercial buildings.

About 800 of the fined homeowners have had to pay. The rest were let off the hook because they offered evidence their alarms weren’t caused by mechanical malfunction.