Woodward discusses fire alarm ordinance

LINDEN – Several businesses in Woodward Township may be improperly maintaining their fire alarm systems, causing members of the township’s volunteer firefighters to respond to unnecessary emergencies. Richard Whalen, chief, asked the supervisors to consider creating an ordinance allowing the fire department to fine businesses for negligence of their alarm systems.

Since the beginning of the year, firefighters have responded to over 24 false alarms at one local business. While he did not identify the business, Whalen said the false alarms were creating an unnecessary burden on the volunteers.

“I have spoken several times to the business owner. I am under the impression that the system is improperly maintained. They are under a different impression,” Whalen said.

When a fire alarm is triggered, the system operators contact the Lycoming County 911 Call Center, who in turn, dispatch emergency personnel to the scene.

In the first week of July, firefighters responded to false alarms at the business every day for two straight weeks, according to Whalen.

The supervisors said the ordinance was reasonable and hope to have an initial ordinance drafted for their November meeting.

Specific costs of the fines have yet to be determined, according to Denise Dieter, who was filling in for the absent Marc Drier, township solicitor.