Fire bylaws are changing in the Queen City.
Regina City Council voted in favour of fire bylaw amendments put forward by the Regina Fire Department, including false alarm fines and ensuring landlords install battery backup fire alarms with a 10 year tamper-proof battery on all floors of the building .
Fire Chief Layne Jackson said the fire department is glad these changes were approved.
“The intent of the fire bylaw is to increase public safety and enhance that element, so whenever we can do that, we’re happy.”
Jackson said landlords still have time to make the necessary changes to the fire alarms in their buildings.
“We took some feedback from the Landlords Association for the provisions, they’re taking affect January 1st, 2020, so we’re giving them some time to come into compliance,” Jackson said. “Once that timeline ends and it’s January 1st, 2020, we’ll be looking to enforce those requirements.”
Jackson said false alarms are a costly and time consuming occurrence for Regina Fire, especially in large buildings.
“In order for us to investigate that problem, and ensure there’s no fire, no issue going on in that building, sometimes it can take several hours and it takes our crews and our firefighters out of service, and takes them out from responding to the community and being available to respond in their area.”
Jackson says the fees are for cost recovery, as the 1,000 or so calls per year that end up being false alarms cost the city about $350,000.