How can premises owners prevent false fire alarms? How can occupiers prevent false fire alarms? • Ensure the fire alarm system is tested and maintained to the relevant Australian Standards by a licensed fire alarm technician. • Maintain a detailed log of all false fire alarms to expose causal factors (occupant/system behavioural patterns or faulty components). • Protect and isolate detectors when undertaking works involving spray paint or generating dust, smoke and steam. • Implement and enforce an on-site works management plan to prevent activations by workers using welders, blowers and the like. The onus is on owners to maintain their premises fire alarm system, however the occupants of premises can also prevent false fire alarms by following these tips: • understand your fire alarm system, the type and location of detectors and any factors that may cause a false fire alarm; • do not walk away from a toaster, while in use, that has a high setting; • do not smoke or spray any aerosols near detectors; • manage activities that produce dust, heat, smoke or fumes; • ensure adequate ventilation for steam and fumes in bathrooms and kitchens; and • ensure staff, visitors and workers are aware the premises is protected by an automatic fire alarm system and provide these tips. On-billing DFES has no control over the practices adopted by the owner of premises in relation to on-billing costs for false fire alarms. DFES does not support the owner of premises forwarding false fire alarm fees onto a third party. Should this occur, it is a private matter between the two parties. DO NOT RESET YOUR FIRE INDICATOR PANEL BEFORE DFES ARRIVES. RESETTING WILL NOT STOP DFES ATTENDING OR A FALSE FIRE ALARM FEE BEING INCURRED For further information visit us at www.dfes.wa.gov.au or contact us on (08) 9395 9300 Emergency Services Complex 20 Stockton Bend Cockburn Central WA 6164 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org FALSE FIRE ALARM FEE INTRODUCTION OF $750 FEE FOR ATTENDANCE TO A FALSE FIRE ALARM What is a false fire alarm? Why is DFES introducing the fee? Legislation A false fire alarm is when DFES is alerted to attend a premises in response to an alarm where there is no fire. The fee is part of an overall DFES strategy to minimise the number of false fire alarms attended by firefighters. It is anticipated that reducing the number of false fire alarms will help to resolve the following problems: • firefighters being unable to attend to a genuine emergency; • the ineffective use of DFES resources, which means that DFES is not serving the community as effectively as possible; and • the increased risk to firefighters and the community when firefighting vehicles are driven under emergency conditions. Section 36ZL(1)(d) of the Fire and Emergency Services Act 1998 allows the Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner to charge for firefighters attending false fire alarms. All other states within Australia charge for false fire alarm attendances and have done so for many years. The risks False fire alarms disrupt the community, lead to complacency, cause business down time due to evacuations and divert firefighters away from genuine emergencies, which could result in loss of life and property. The facts In 2014/15, firefighters responded to 9839 false fire alarm activations. This is approximately 27 false fire alarm attendances each day. What is the false fire alarm fee? DFES will introduce a fee of $750 during the 2015/16 financial year for repeat attendances to false fire alarms. The owners of premises will be given 30 days notice prior to the fee being introduced. The false fire alarm fee will apply after the third false fire alarm attendance to a premises in a financial year. DFES will issue an invoice upon the fourth false fire alarm attendance and every false fire alarm attendance thereafter. Who makes the decision to apply the false fire alarm fee? The decision to issue a false fire alarm fee is NOT made by firefighters attending the false fire alarm. The firefighters only determine the reason for the fire alarm activation. DFES determines whether a false fire alarm fee will be issued, in accordance with DFES’ False Fire Alarm Policy and the Fire and Emergency Services Act 1998. What are the main causes of false fire alarms? The main causes are: • poor building maintenance • detectors are: - inappropriately placed and installed - inadequate for their intended purpose - dirty and require cleaning • smoke from burning food • steam from cooking and showers • aerosol sprays (deodorant and hair spray) • cigarette smoke and candles • building works • damage to fire alarm systems.
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