Faking fire alarms is bad. Those high school kids thinking it’s a funny prank to yank the lever so the fire department is signaled, sirens screaming, are doing everyone a disservice.
We know that too many alarms is a response issue for police departments across the country. Similarly, we know that those unnecessary fire alarm triggers are also affecting response time and resources for fire departments in many local jurisdictions. And the biggest danger of these nuisance alarms is that more firefighters are killed responding to fire alarms than by fighting fires. Unnecessary fire alarms should be reduced by making sure good equipment is used and proper installations are the norm.
At the same time, we need to send the message out in communities where prank yanks are occurring, that we as an industry condemn these antics. In Yuma, Arizona, for example, the fire department has publicized a problem with malicious and suspicious commercial fire alarms coming in that did not require a response. It’s no joking matter, and we should help disseminate that message.
If you operate in Yuma or any other community where this issue surfaces, we urge you to work with local officials to put forth public messages condemning those who deliberately set off the alarms. Volunteer to write a piece for your local newspaper. Put your name forward as supporting the fire department.
This is good for the community, good for the image of your company and the electronic security industry, and good politics for you. It builds strong relationships with public service officials. We need this type of support. Your commitment helps all of us.