North Las Vegas to charge for false fire alarms

Dec. 7, 2011 -- NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- The North Las Vegas City Council passed an ordinance Wednesday that allows the city's fire department to fine residents and businesses for false alarms.

The ordinance was put in place to recover costs and will allow the department to charge $500 for repeated false alarms.

"When we get called, we get out there and there's nothing, no emergency at all," Fire Chief Al Gillespie said of his crews responding to false alarms. "There was nothing we needed to be there for, but we came because the alarm went off."

The money is expected to be paid for by insurance companies, for which homeowners and businesses already pay, fire Capt. Sergio Reynoso said.

"We're just recouping that on our response," he said. "It will go back into the general fund that helps support our budget."

The fire department said that it will give people a free pass the first time, but if its crews are called out more than once a year, it will send a bill.

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