Crackdown on offenders helps Milton lower emergency false alarms


Published October 24, 2023 at 1:40 pm

911 emergency fire department false alarm Milton

Penalizing habitual offenders has helped with a dramatic decrease in the number of false fire and emergency alarms in Milton.

After several years of watching the number of false alarms increase — they reached a peak of 42 per cent of all calls in 2021 — the number dropped to 9 per cent in 2022 thanks to new initiatives.

False alarms can be financially costly to fire departments as well as putting people, homes and businesses at risk as crews are pulled away from legitimate emergencies.

“False alarm calls tie up valuable resources in the event another emergency event is occurring in the community and unduly affects call volume projections which has the potential to impact service delivery planning and the service accounts for community growth,” Milton Fire and Rescue Services indicated in a report to Town council.

There were several new measures put into place to deal with the problem but chief among the initiatives were changes made to local bylaws that penalize an individual after a second false alarm in the same calendar year.

According to Milton officials, the fines imposed on those who habitually call in false alarms have played a big part in the decrease.

Other initiatives have included a public education campaign, improved training on how incidents are reported, and how data is collected.

While the number of false alarms has decreased, the overall call volume for Milton Fire & Rescue Services continues to rise due to growth.

The fire department reports that it received over 400 more calls for service in 2022 than in 2021. The service received 2,377 total calls for service in 2022.




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