After a false alarm yesterday morning at the Estevan Comprehensive School, The topic of fire alarms going off in non-emergency situations might be on your mind.
False fire alarms can be a common occurrence in a household - whether that be through cooking gone wrong, steam cleaning, or simply a bit of smoke in the wrong place.
That's why it's important to figure out what exactly will happen after that false alarm starts up, says Estevan Fire Department's Fire Chief Dale Feser.
"In general for as far the monitored residential systems go, we ask that all homeowners contact their monitoring agency and make sure that they are indeed the first point of contact," said Feser, "So that way if you are preparing supper, burning toast, or whatever the case may be that the monitoring agency actually contacts the homeowner prior to dispatching the fire department."
Not responding to those calls or not having them set up properly in the first place can carry some hefty consequences, says Feser.
"In the city of Estevan, there is a policy in place in which after the first residential fire alarm for the exact same instance," said Feser, "The first one is typically a freebie, after that there's what's called a preventable false alarm charge that's associated with that which starts at $300. It goes up to $325 for the second offense and the third and every consecutive offense after that goes up to $350."
Despite the worry that those charges may cause, Feser says that the department is pretty understanding in situations where you may not be in a position to answer the call.
"It's just a simple phone call to these monitoring agencies to make sure that the proper notification procedures are in place, and again if you're not home, you're not home, so be it," said Feser, "The fire department will roll and make sure there isn't an emergency occurring and if there is we'll mitigate an emergency occurring at that time.