Overactive alarms warrant fines for business owners

Fire gear at the Albany Fire Department. / Jessica Fairley

When severe weather happens officials often get called out to businesses for overactive alarms. However when a business is closed, what do officials do when they can't locate a key holder to turn off the alarm system?

Officials with the Albany Fire Department say they are obligated to respond each time to a fire alarm call, no matter how many times it happens in one night.

This is done as a precaution just in case there actually is a fire.

After the first time, officials say they decrease the amount of trucks sent out to the business.

"Any alarm system owner within the city of Albany is required to fill out a registration form and have that sent in and on file so that we do have contact information if we do have an activation so that dispatch can notify someone," said Battalion Chief Kelly Harcrow, with the Albany Fire Department.

Under Albany's alarm policy, if a business receives five calls within the span of six months, the owner will receive a fine for the violation.

Officials say these visits are not all counted in one night because if an alarm goes off several times within a 24 hour period, more than likely, there is a problem that needs to be addressed. Business owners are given time to fix the issue before a fine is issued.

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