Unwanted alarm charges

Unwanted Alarm charge is $854.00 per response

Fees are subject to change under NTG Revenue Units Act.

Why reduce unwanted alarms

1. Increased Risk of Accident and Injury

The NTFRS responds to all emergencies under 'lights and sirens', including calls that are found to be unwanted alarms. Unwanted and unnecessary calls increase the risk of accident and injury to Firefighters and the general public.

2. Public Safety

  1. Delayed response
    Vehicles and personnel deployed to an unwanted alarm are committed to that call. Should a real emergency occur at the same time, it is possible that appliances will have to travel from an alternate fire station, thereby increasing the fire services response time.
  2. Complacency
    Too many unwanted alarms may lead to complacency which can have grave consequences to public safety.

Note: Tampering with the alarm system or with the signal sent to fire services is a serious breach of public safety and has legal consequences.

3. Waste of Resources

  1. Fire Service Charges
    Unwanted alarm charges can be substantial.
  2. Disruption to business activities
    Evacuations cause down time to a business with loss of productivity.
  3. Maintenance time & $
    Inefficient fire alarm systems can result in additional maintenance work and charges.

Who is responsible for Unwanted Alarms?

Building Owner/Occupier - NTFRS advises that you should designate someone who is adequately trained to be responsible for ensuring that your system is tested and maintained as per the Australian Standards.

What is a Waiver and how do you go about applying?

If you believe that you have been charged for an Unwanted Alarm that could not reasonably have been avoided (ie a detector which is in good condition activates due to a manufacturing fault), you may download the Application to Waive form and request that the charge is waived. The applicant must outline the reasons why the charge should be waived. An assessment of the application and the reasons for waiver will be considered by the Waiver Committee. Once a decision has been made you will be advised in writing. The decision of the Waiver Committee is final. You must ensure that all available information in relation to the incident is provided at the time of the waiver application.

For the Waiver Committee to assess your application you must:

  • Lodge an Application to Waive within 30 days of the invoice date;
  • Include the reasons to waive such as:
    - provide evidence of testing and maintenance (eg log book entries or invoices from your
      Fire Contractor) of your fire system; and
    - provide evidence of what has been done to ensure that unwanted false alarms will not
      reoccur.
    - provide a Statutory Declaration declaring that all information provided is true and correct;
      and
    - forward all documentation to fire.safety@nt.gov.au

In assessing your application the Waiver Committee will consider the following:

  • How many activations have occurred at the particular site over a specified period of time? Is it evident that activations are reducing due to a concentrated and effective management plan?
  • Why did the activation occur?
  • The location of the activated detector (if applicable) ie internal/external
  • What has been done to ensure further activations do not occur, such as:
    - Introduction of processes and policies to reduce the chance of activation
    - Introduction of a comprehensive remediation plan
    - Make a significant investment into the upgrade/improvements in the Fire Alarm
      infrastructure.

To summarise: in considering waiver applications the Waiver Committee must be reasonably satisfied that there have been significant actions taken to ensure further activations do not occur. This should include a long term mitigation strategy.