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False Fire Alarm Fee Program

Graph showing monthly incidents for AFPD

The Arcata Fire District responds to more than 200 false fire alarms every year. Each response involves deployment of one of our three staffed fire engines.

A real emergency could occur while firefighters are dispatched to a false alarm, which can cause needless delay.

Each false alarm not only impacts other emergencies, but also exposes Fire District personnel and equipment to unnecessary wear and tear, which wastes money.

Fire alarms are an important early notification tool for protecting lives and property. Alarms are required to be maintained in order to function properly and prevent false alarms.

In an effort to curb the response to false alarms, the Arcata Fire District has passed an Ordinance that will charge a fee to the parcel owner of a property that experiences two (2) or more false alarms during a calendar year. The amount of the invoice graduates with the frequency of the false alarms occurring at a response location as follows:

During One Calendar Year Period

Amount of Fee Per Response:

  • 1st False Alarm Response - Fee Waived
  • 2nd False Alarm Response - $100.00
  • 3rd False Alarm Response - $200.00
  • 4th False Alarm Response - $300.00
  • 5th & Subsequent False Alarm Responses - $400.00

Parcel owners will be issued an invoice within 60 days of a 2nd or subsequent false alarm and payment is required within 60 days of the invoice date. Failure to remit payment may result in additional fees. The purpose of the fee is to encourage property owners to maintain their fire alarm systems in a manner that reduces or eliminates false fire alarms and builds confidence in people who hear a fire alarm to believe that an actual fire emergency is occurring.

If you would like more information regarding the Arcata Fire District’s False Alarm Fee Program, or if you would like to learn more about the proper maintenance, testing and certification of your fire alarm system, please contact the Fire Prevention Bureau at (707) 825-2000.


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