Fire False Alarm Fee

Effective January 1, 2010 and in accordance with Ordinance 2009-O-84, the Village of Wilmette will assess fines for multiple false fire alarms.

In 2009 the Wilmette Fire Department responded to 489 false alarms. False alarms are defined as: The activation of any fire alarm system through mechanical failure, malfunction, improper installation, or the improper operation or negligence of the owner or lessee of any fire alarm system or of his employees or agents. Smoke alarms or carbon monoxide detectors that accidently activate are not considered false alarms.

False alarms are a very serious problem – they not only result in considerable expense to the public, they jeopardize the safety of the Fire Department personnel who must respond to the false alarms. The Ordinance is intended to encourage alarm users to repair malfunctioning alarms and as such, a fee is not assessed for the first false alarm at a particular property.

Failure to repair the alarm system after the first false alarm within a calendar year will result in fines according to the following schedule:

1st false alarm No Charge
2nd false alarm $25 per false alarm
3rd and 4th false alarm $100 per false alarm
5th and 6th false alarm $200 per false alarm
7th and 8th false alarm $300 per false alarm
9th and 10th false alarm $500 per false alarm
More than 10 false alarms $1,000 per false alarm

Alarm users will be notified in writing of each instance where the Fire Department has recorded a false alarm. Alarm users can appeal within 15 days of the mailing to the Fire Department Alarm Administrator. Click here for a copy of the Ordinance.