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Hefty fines for fire alarm ‘foolies’

By Tim Neary
31 October 2018 | 1 minute read
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Rowdy teenagers fooling with fire alarms during end-of-year Schoolies Week celebrations this year could be hit with hefty fines, says one expert.

Archers the Strata Professionals partner Grant Mifsud said that setting off false fire alarms was one of the biggest headaches faced by unit owners and property managers during the end-of-school festivities.

He said that it is an even bigger nuisance for the attending Queensland Fire and Emergency Service crews.

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Mr Mifsud said that the QFES responds to around 18,000 unwanted alarm activations statewide per year, and the service is empowered to charge $1,298 for attending any false alarm.

“Building management hosting Schoolies guests can pass on the QFES charge to the occupant when there is reckless or negligent behaviour, with technology enabling identification of which room and building level an alarm has been activated.

“Schoolies who set off fire alarms are not only risking lives, they could find themselves facing a fine of almost $1,300. Building management are able to recover the QFES charge once they identify the perpetrator.”

Mr Mifsud said that the charges are a big cost for a strata scheme.

“Unwanted alarm activations create a burden not only for the attending QFES crew but on the community.

“There can be building occupant complacency generated from exposure to excessive false alarms as well as the high financial cost of business interruption.”

He added that one of the biggest priorities for school leavers at Schoolies was having their bond refunded.

“Any damage to the room or contents during Schoolies Week will come out of the bond,” Mr Mifsud said.

“School leavers wouldn’t want to face the double whammy of also paying a fine for setting off a fire alarm.”

Here are six house rules to avoid incidents:

1. No glass bottles in the room or pool area

2. A maximum of two external guests permitted to a room at any time

3. Secure the rooftops

4. Zero tolerance policy for misbehaviour on apartment balconies

5. Keep noise to a minimum

6. Refer dangerous behaviour to the police

Hefty fines for fire alarm ‘foolies’
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