Lee County, S.C., proposes new false fire alarm ordinance

Fire chief says amateur DIY installations often a source of false calls


Dec. 11, 2009 -- Lee County, S.C., is considering adopting a new ordinance pertaining to false fire alarms in an effort to curb expenses and unnecessary response. The false alarm ordinance, like many being put in place across the nation, would monitor and record false fire alarms and notify the fire alarm user of the ordinance.

The Lee County ordinance would require "appropriate action" be taken after two false fire alarms in a 365-day period, and on the third false fire alarm, the system owner would be placed in a fine structure, with a $50 fine for the third false fire alarm, and $100 for the fourth false alarm. Non-payment for the false alarm within 30 days would cost $200. The proposed ordinance allows for a 45-day grace period following installation of a new fire system.

In an article from The Item newspaper of Lee County, the county fire chief said most of the false alarms can be credited to improper and amateur installations, and he indicated that professional fire alarm installations generally do not generate as many false fire alarm calls to his department.

Information for this article from "Lee Country seeks to cut down on false alarms," The Item, Dec. 11, 2009.