West Australians who repeatedly trigger false fire alarms will be fined $750 from next year after frustrated firefighters needlessly raced to more than 10,700 fake emergencies last financial year which the Department of Fire and Emergency Services spent more than $8 million responding to in 2013-14. Businesses used to be the worst, but the department said the proliferation of high-rise apartment complexes had increased the problem significantly, to the point crews now responded to an average 29 false alarms a day.
Call-outs to cooking fumes and steam from showers are as much in the department’s sights as poorly installed detectors and shoddy alarm maintenance. Perth Fire Station and volunteer Fire and Rescue Service crews around Northam will take part in a pilot program in the first half of next year. From July, the department plans to give premises three false alarms a year before issuing $750 fines for the fourth and each subsequent false call-out.