Halton Hills and North Halton newspapers
False alarms will bring a bill from fire department in 2007
Independent & Free Press (Georgetown, ON), 28 Jun 2006, p. 8

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Starting next year, residents and businesses will get a bill of $450 from Halton Hills' fire department, if firefighters have to respond to a preventable false alarm. The charge is among a list of new user fees and service charges the fire department will begin seeking starting January 1, 2007. Halton Hills council approved the new cost recovery initiative at a recent meeting. No one in the community had attended a publicized public meeting on the subject. It includes fees to recover costs for: · Fire service response to unauthorized burning. In the first six months of 2005, the fire department had to respond to 15 unauthorized burn incidents, several of which resulted in grass and brush fires. In some instances restricted household garbage was being burned. While the fire service had successfully prosecuted in court blatant offenders, the service does not receive the court penalties. As a result, the following new fees will be imposed by the fire service: First offence-- a verbal warning; second offence-- $100 and a written warning; third offence-- $200, and notification that charges will be laid if another occurrence happens; fourth offence-- $450 and charges will be laid under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997. Similar fees and penalties are imposed for contravention of open air burning permits. The fire service recently had to suspend permits of several individuals and a company, all of whom did not adhere to permit requirements, and charges were laid when they continued to burn materials after their permits were revoked. · Fire service response to preventable false alarms. In 2005, the fire department responded to more than 100 false alarms, and a number of them resulted from companies failing to inform the service or monitoring company that the alarm was being tested or repaired. Other preventable false alarms usually result from poor maintenance. The new penalty fee is set at $450 for the first offence and $600 for subsequent offences resulting from repair or testing or two or more alarms resulting from equipment malfunction within a 30 days period. · Issuing a permit to conduct open air burning. Changes include where curbside pickup of yard waste is available to residents, permits will not be issued. For those who do have yard waste pickup, permits will be issued on this basis: recreational (chimney or fire pit) and/or disposal of yard waste, $20; for commercial disposal of clean waste on construction sites, $200 and no cost for farms. · Issuing a permit to sell fireworks. Those selling fireworks from roadside stands or other temporary facilities will be required to get a $110 Permit to Sell Fireworks. Variety stores and other similar permanent businesses that wish to sell fireworks will be required to obtain a permit, but will not be charged a fee. · The cost of consumables used in the fire service's response to hazardous materials spills This is already normal practice, however the new policy now formalizes it.

Gamble, Cynthia
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28 Jun 2006
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False alarms will bring a bill from fire department in 2007