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LA Considering Big Fines For False Fire Alarms

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The Los Angeles City Council is moving forward in developing a plan which would fine homeowners and businesses for false fire alarms.
In a 14-0 vote, the council Tuesday advanced a proposal directing the L.A. Fire Department and the city attorney’s office to develop an ordinance which implements a fine structure for false fire alarms.
LAFD determined that 12,000 of the approximately 25,000 fire alarm callouts it receives per year are false, according to a report from the council’s Public Safety Committee.
The city administrative office cited the Los Angeles Police Department’s own false alarm program , which was implemented in 2009. According to LAPD statistics, the number of false alarm calls dropped from 145,000 in 2009 to 54,000 in 2017. The program brings in about $11 million annually in permits and fees.
Under the program, L.A. residents who have an alarm system in their home must pay a $43 annual fee to the LAPD. The fine for the first false alarm is $189, and it goes up from there for each subsequent false alarm.
The initial proposal is a fire alarm permit fee of $48 annually, along with a fine of $172 for a 15-minute on-scene response, or $343 for a 30-minute response. The city estimates the ordinance would bring in about $1.72 million annually for the fire department.
A false fire alarm is classified by LAFD as a malicious alarm, which is currently a misdemeanor, whereas an unwanted alarm is caused by system malfunction or incorrect installation.
(©2018 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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