Putting A Stop To False Alarms

January 17, 2007
Reported by Vince Atkinson

They are the men and women that protect us from deadly fires, but these people are busier than many of us would have guessed.   We are talking about local firefighters.   They are thought of as the folks who save lives and save property from destructive flames.   While that perception is true, firefighters also have to deal with some annoying and costly distraction.  What may be annoying for firefighters is also costing tax payer big bucks, at least until Wednesday night.

Firefighters battle blazes, save lives and work long hours.   These are hours that are often filled with fruitless efforts.   Lake Charles Fire Prevention Chief T. A. Jones said, "We have been responding to a lot of false alarms."  In fact, local fire departments respond to thousands of false alarms every year.

False alarms cost tax payers a lot of money.   Every time a fire truck rolls out, it does not go on a call for free.   Not only do the gasoline costs add up, but the firefighters have to be paid regardless if the call is legitimate or not.  The Lake Charles City Council has approved an ordinance that is aimed at cutting back on these false alarm calls.

Homes and businesses now get three false fire alarms free every 12 months, but after that the fines will start to add up.   Door hangers that outline the new fines will now be left for anyone who has a bogus fire alarm.   According to local fire officials, when Lafayette tried this same measure, false alarms were dramatically reduced.