Update Tuesday 3 p.m.:
Riverside County supervisors Tuesday signed off on plans to establish penalties for individuals or businesses responsible for triggering false fire alarms that needlessly divert emergency resources.
Without comment, the Board of Supervisors voted 4-0 -- with Chairman John Tavaglione absent -- to authorize the Office of Emergency Services to work with the Office of County Counsel on finalizing an ordinance.
Original Story as Follows:
Riverside County supervisors Tuesday will consider plans for an ordinance that would establish penalties for individuals or businesses responsible for triggering false fire alarms that needlessly divert emergency resources.
The county's Office of Emergency Services is seeking the Board of Supervisors' approval to work with the Office of County Counsel on drafting an ordinance, so no fee amount has been given just yet.
The idea is to help mitigate the cost of responding to false calls, and to help deter them from happening:
"These calls range from someone pulling the fire alarm erroneously at a school to not turning off a house alarm in time," according to a County fire and Office of Emergency Services (OES) document.
"Responding to these calls prolongs the time that it can take for the (fire) department to respond to a bona fide emergency and can ultimately jeopardize the health, welfare and safety of Riverside County residents," the document continues.
Supervisor Jeff Stone last year raised the issue of false alarms and what might be done to prevent them while considering ways to save the fire department money as it struggled to pare down a $5 million budget deficit.
According to the fire department, firefighters responded to 2,110 false alarm calls -- or an average of six per day -- countywide in 2011.
A four-fifths board vote is required for the drafting to move forward.
-City News Service Contributed to this Report