Chico, Calif. -- Every time a fire alarm goes off in the city of Chico, as much as half of the fire department's resources are deployed to the scene.
And often, it's a false alarm - so, tonight Chico's fire chief will ask City Council for help in cutting back on false alarms.
Chief Steve Standridge says it happens on average about 700 times a year; an old, un-maintained alarm systems will go off for seemingly no reason.
This is typically in commercial buildings, apartment complexes and even the university dorms.
The chief says there are some repeat offenders that just haven't updated their systems despite the thousands of dollars they're costing the city in wasted resources.
"We generally send 2 resources, an engine and a truck and they're committed to that incident until they find the cause of the alarm ... that's 2 resources in a city that has only 4 total resources," said Chief Standridge.
Standridge says he's asking the council to adopt an ordinance modeled after the one that chico p-d has in place for security alarms; the first time it happens, you're asked to repair your alarm system.
Strike two is a $100 penalty, and three time or more is a $200 fee.
The meeting is tonight at 6 p.m. at the Council Chambers at 421 Main Street, Chico.