Beginning February 1, Elgin’s Fire Department will no longer respond to trouble or supervisory alarm signals coming through an alarm company.
“These types of alarms are typically caused by faulty equipment, power outages or severe weather,” said Elgin’s Assistant Fire Chief Rudy Horist. “We respond to more than 800 trouble alarms every year and those non-emergency alarms tie up our resources.”
Alarm companies were notified of the change back in December. The change will take place March 1 for local businesses and other facilities that have alarm systems reporting directly to the city’s Emergency Communications Center.
“Making this change is a more efficient use of Elgin’s personnel and resources,” said Horist. “City ordinance and National Fire Protection Association standards require that a service technician, contact person or contracted “runner service” be sent to check on trouble or supervisory alarms.”
The change does not alter the fire department’s response to fire alarms that go off for other reasons such as an activated heat, smoke detector or sprinkler system.
“If there is ever a question about whether we should respond, the fire department will always err on the side of safety,” said Horist. “We’ll be there.”
For more information, contact the Elgin Fire Prevention Bureau at (847) 931-6190.