City Ordinance Proposed to Fine Montgomery's Fire Code Violators
“Every time you go out it costs the city, and right now we have nothing in return for it,” said Lloyd Faulkner,
The Montgomery Fire Department says businesses break life safety fire codes all too often.
“We may go back two, three, four maybe even five times to one business without them ever addressing those codes,” said Montgomery Fire Chief Harold Bellinger.
Bellinger and the fire department proposed four ordinances to City Council Tuesday, primarily focusing on fining repeat life safety code violators.
“Those are times and hours spent that can’t be given to other business owners out there for their first annual free inspection,” Bellinger said.
One of the proposed ordinances would fine multifamily residential and commercial building owners $75 each time an inspector performs an additional fire code inspection.
“We're at the point in time where every little bit helps, and [about] $200,000 is a pretty good bit that will help a lot,” Faulkner said.
Chief Bellinger said another ordinance gives the fire department permission to charge $150 per hour, for after-hour inspection services at businesses like night clubs and bars.
“We run into situations where the business owners or the club owners will not meet us during the 8 to 5 work day,” Bellinger said.
Montgomery Fire Department inspectors, like Assistant Fire Marshall Major Johnny George says most violations are an easy fix, like maintaining visible and up to date fire extinguishers and exits.
“We want something positive to come out of this, life safety is very serious and as long as the business owners abide by the regulations everything will be fine,” said George.
Both the city and fire department say these ordinances are not meant to go after money, but to get businesses to follow the rules. If passed, the city says the money from the fines would go into