Construction around the building and an overly-sensitive alarm in the kitchen led to the string of false fire alarms at downtown Sacramento's new Kimpton Sawyer Hotel, according to interviews with the hotel's general manager and Sacramento fire marshal.
In recent months, the Sacramento Fire Department has responded nine times to fire alarms at the Kimpton hotel -- all of which have proven to be false.
These false alarms have led to roughly $2,000 worth of fines for the hotel.
"We are really trying to reduce the false alarms because every time we have a call for service, especially at a high rise building, we send 5 units....abut 17 firefighters," Jason Lee, fire marshal for the city of Sacramento, told ABC10. "And when we start going out to these alarms and they're false, we are taking away resources from actual emergencies that could happen just down the street from here. So, it's an issue for public safety."
In Sacramento, after a building has three false alarms in a 12-month period there's a $240 fine.
After a sixth false alarm, there is a $360 fine plus an additional $1,000 penalty.
Since 2012, the Sacramento Fire Department has been working to reduce the number of false alarms across the city. Last year, they responded to about 3,000 false alarms.
"About 10 years ago, we responded to about 4,700 false alarms, so we have seen a dramatic drop in false alarms," Lee said. "But for this particular building, we have seen a particular uptick in false alarms."
Brent Larkin, the General Manager of the Kimpton Sawyer Hotel, said most of the false alarms were caused by construction activities and some were caused by operations in the kitchen. None were in the hotel rooms or communal guest areas.
"It's a situation where several different ventures have caused alarms to go up," Larkin said. "No one is repetitively making it happen."
The hotel is working with the fire department to resolve the issue. Larkin said they have already made adjustments to the fire alarm in the kitchen and have not had any false alarms since Dec. 9.
When asked if they plan to pay their fines, Larkin said they will "certainly do whatever we need to do."
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