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False fire alarms up 30 percent in 2018 according to YK Fire Division

There were 210 responses to false fire alarms in Yellowknife in 2018 up to end of November according to the YKFD. This is up by about 50 calls compared to 2017.

Deputy Fire Chief, Life Safety & Prevention Gerda Groothuizen notes that the Fire Division responds to a number of false alarms every month due to:

  • Malicious activation of pull stations;
  • People smoking in the stairwells, setting off the smoke detectors or setting off fire extinguishers in the hallways that activate the alarm system;
  • System malfunctions including broken sprinkler lines.

“To activate a pull station without an actual emergency contravenes the Criminal Code of Canada. If the individual is caught, she/he will be fined.”

She also notes that property reps are working hard to prevent false alarms by:

  • Placing electronically wired tamper boxes over the pull stations to deter individuals from activating them;
  • Placing cameras throughout the buildings with the most abuse as a deterrent from pulling the alarm;
  • Ensuring the fire alarm system and sprinkler systems are maintained in good working order.

Property reps are billed after the second false alarm at a rate of $2,500 per false alarm.

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