A certified professional must test all fire protection equipment in West Vancouver annually, and owners can get charged for a failure to notify the fire department prior to such a test.
Council passed the Fire Protection and Emergency Response Bylaw on Monday night stipulating that fire protection equipment must be tested by a technician certified by the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of British Columbia.
Thirteen municipalities across the province have a similar requirement, said fire chief Jim Cook. There are more than 700 ASTTBCcertified fire protection technicians in the province.
By charging owners for a failure to notify the fire department about testing, it is hoping the number of false alarms will be reduced, said Cook. "This section clarifies that it's the owner's responsibility to notify their alarm company and the fire department while work is being done on the system," he said.
The bylaw also clarified language around charging and recovering fees, which will be added to property taxes if left unpaid past Dec. 31. These charges can include the cost of removing combustible materials that present a fire hazard, or damages to the fire department's equipment because of a hazardous substance or dangerous goods.
"The only fire equipment we would charge for damages is if there is some use of a restricted substance or illegal activities," said Cook. "We don't typically charge anybody for damaged equipment through the course of a normal fire or incident."
Most of the fees and charges contained in the bylaw have been compared across B.C., Cook said.
The bylaw also deleted the position of a community forester, whose responsibilities will now fall to the fire chief.
Fireworks may only be discharged on Oct. 31 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. under the bylaw.
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