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Ottawa City Council approves new fines to reduce false fire alarms

Ottawa Fire
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The Ottawa city council has approved a strategy to help reduce false fire alarms by 10 to 20 per cent over the next three years.

The city approved the new strategy on Wednesday and said in a news release it includes a fee for nuisance alarms, noting that most calls can be prevented with proper maintenance of alarm systems.

“Ottawa Fire Services responded to more than 10,000 false fire alarms in 2022, needlessly occupying emergency services and posing a potential risk to public safety,” the city said.

“The most common type of false alarm, caused by equipment malfunction or negligence.”

The fee will not apply to alarms outside of owners’ control, such as those caused by weather, vandalism or accidents. It will only apply at commercial, institutional, industrial or multi-residential properties, the city notes.

Though it will not apply to the first false fire alarm, it will be $500 for a second false fire alarm in a calendar year, $1,000 for a third false fire alarm and $1,500 for any subsequent false fire alarm.

The new strategy will come into effect starting July 1.

With files from CTV News Ottawa's Josh Pringle

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