Ordinance in Mich. Would Charge Fire Systems Companies

A new ordinance in Walker, Mich., will affect the bottom line of fire systems dealers if they don't properly notify authorities before testing commercial fire alarms.

Last week, the Walker, Mich., City Commission passed an ordinance which was subsequently approved by the mayor that requires that integrators and security dealers to give notice to the Walker Fire Department before testing commercial fire alarms as well as those used in apartment complexes.

The ordinance, which seeks to recove the expense of rolling fire trucks and personnel to the scene, will hit alarm companies where it hurts, charing them at least $1,000, a number The Grand Rapids Press indicated was linked to the cost of rolling three fire response vehicles. The fee could be more if the response from the department is higher than that standard response, and would be charged to the alarm firm, not the commercial property owner.

The chief of the department, Bill Schmidt told the newspaper that some 80 percent of false fire alarms are linked with failure to notify the department of tests.