False Alarm Update: Harford County, Hartville, Missoula
BEL AIR, Md.
A county in Maryland is considering doubling the fines for
false fire alarms with a maximum penalty of $1,000 for a
fourth false fire alarm and each thereafter within a
calendar year. The fire chief of Harford County, Md., has
presented a proposal for the increased fines to the
country’s council, which will hear and decide on the
proposal in April.
Harford County includes the cities of Bel Air and
According to the Baltimore Sun, Chief Tom Schaech
wants to double the current $50 fine for a second false
fire alarm to $100. A third false alarm would yield a $500
fine, which would be doubled again to $1,000 for each
subsequent false dispatch.
The county council will hold a public meeting on the
proposal on April 12.
In other false alarm news …
HARTVILLE, Ohio: A town in Ohio has enacted a false fire alarm ordinance that includes jail time for more than four false fire alarms within a three-year time period.
The Hartsville, Ohio, Village Council passed a measure March 3 in which a fifth and each subsequent false fire alarm within three years results in a $250 fine and 30 days in jail, according to the Akron Beacon Journal.
Fines of between $100 and $250 are also assessed for a third and fourth false fire alarm within a two-year time period.
MISSOULA, Mont.: Even a musical isn’t immune from being a part of the false alarm problem.
The opening night on March 3 of the Missoula Community Theatre’s (MCT) production of “Les Miserables” was interrupted twice by false fire alarms tripped by one of the show’s special effects.
According to the Missoulian, rolling stage fog tripped the theatre’s smoke detectors 20 minutes into the show. The crowd and cast evacuated to the parking lot for 20 minutes and the Missoula Fire Department arrived to find no blaze.
Later, after the show was over, the cleaning crew accidentally activated the fog machine and the smoke alarms tripped again, prompting another response by firefighters.
Show organizers later discovered that a door that to the room containing the smoke detectors that was supposed to have been closed had been left open.
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