Regina Fire is proposing bylaw changes that would charge fees for various items including permits, licences and false alarm fees.
The new bylaw, if approved by Regina City Council, would see owners of property that deliver a false alarm receive a warning letter after first offence of the year, then be charged $300 after a second and $600 each time afterwards during the calendar year.
Fire Chief Layne Jackson said false alarms are costly to the fire department.
“Last year, we had gone to over 1,000 (false alarm calls), and we don’t have a per-call, I don’t have that stat in front of me, but we’re looking at $350,000 (per year) in cost for us to be at those types of calls.”
Jackson said the fees would work as a partial cost recovery.
Open air fire permits:
Regina fire is also proposing a bylaw change that would see people pay $62 for open air fire permits.
Fire Marshall Randy Ryba said open air fire permits are only issued in three instances, including for certain winter events downtown.
“Downtown in the winter time, the plaza has an ice surface, sometimes organizations want to have one or two fire pits to keep themselves warm,” Ryba said. “That’s about (one of) the three only times that I would actually issue an open air permit, it’s not there for burning trash, rubbish, like back in the old days, it’s very specific.”
The fees being introduced in this bylaw change would also serve as cost-recovery for Regina fire.
Updating smoke alarms in rental properties:
Landlords could soon be updating fire alarms and smoke detectors in the buildings they own.
Saskatchewan Landlord’s Association Director Della Thomas said the replacement and inspection of fire alarms will ensure the safety of the tenants.
“We are in favour of it, the only thing that we ask the fire department was to make sure they gave us a time frame that all landlords could put it in their budgets, because this will be an extra cost.”
If approved, Regina Landlords would have to replace current alarms with hardwired smoke alarms with a battery backup, add a 10 year tamper-proof battery smoke alarm to floors with no bedrooms, and inspect the alarms before and after tenants take residence in the unit.