False Fire and Burglar Alarms Are Costing the City of Lufkin. - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

False Fire and Burglar Alarms Are Costing the City of Lufkin.

By Tashun Chism

Alarm systems are important to prevent scenes like this one. But not every alarm city officials respond to is a real emergency.

"We have one institution that in the past two years has had about 85 false alarms. So you can imagine the type of amount of time and expense going to those types of responses, Lufkin City Manager Paul Parker told us.

That's why one of the main things on the agenda for Lufkin City Council meeting is a false alarm ordinance. If passed, the proposed ordinance would allow each institution 5 false alarms a year. After that, it will cost $300 for each false alarm.

Lufkin Police and Fire dispatchers are no strangers to false alarms. The Lufkin Fire Department alone averages about 31 false alarms per month.

"From time to time someone will call warning us it's a false alarm and not to send anyone. However, we're not on the scene so we don't know what the situation is. So we must respond and send units out regardless," Keith Pickley, Communications Supervisor for the city of Lufkin said.

False alarms also put a huge drain on the city's manpower.

"On an alarm we tend to send three or even four stations. That's three fire engines, one med unit and a rescue truck to everyone of our false alarms because we assume the alarm is an active structure fire," Lufkin Fire Department EMS Coordinator Steve McCool said.

If the city council approves the proposal, they will provide local companies with a plan for the ordinance. It will then be voted on by city council members on a later date.

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