Gainesville, Fla., Enacts New Fire Alarm Ordinance

Gainesville, Fla., is turning to a new fire ordinance in October to help slow down the high number of false alarms to which the city' fire department has been responding.

The new ordinance goes into effect on Oct. 1, 2005, and will assess fines for repeated false alarms.

The ordinance allows one false alarm a year for permitted systems, and then proceeds into a fee structure for ensuing false calls, starting with $25 and moving to as high as $400 per false alarm. Permitting of a fire alarm system costs $15 per year.

The city has had a similar ordinance for burglar alarms since 2000.

According to a report in The (Gainesville, Fla.) Alligator newspaper, the city's fire and rescue department was facing approximately 1,400 false fire alarms each year, with a cost to the department of approximately $370,000.