Breaking News Bar
updated: 12/31/2012 1:48 PM

Fire-alarm calls abound at Palatine group homes

hello
Success - Article sent! close
 
 

Between January 2010 and May 2012, 16 group homes that seven organizations operate in Palatine posted 102 calls for police and fire services, according to documents obtained under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.

Of those, the most frequent reports were 38 calls for activated fire alarms. Arlington Heights reported similar results: out of 81 calls for service, 34 of them that had to do with fire alarms.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

Both departments report they are almost always responding to fire alarms that were set off because someone was cooking something a little too long.

Group homes are required to have fire alarm systems and once fumes touch the devices, which are located in the ceiling, the sensitive system has a mechanism that signals the dispatch center on its own.

More often than not, the alarms are set off due to cooking, cleaning or construction dust, said Palatine Deputy Fire Chief Patrick Gratzianna.

Once the alarm is activated, a crew goes out to confirm there were no issues and then resets the system with the dispatch center. Officials then confirm that the system is fully functioning again.

A call for an activated fire alarm typically takes between 10 and 20 minutes to process, but that depends on how badly the residents burned the food, Gratzianna quipped.

"Our job is to kind of alleviate the stress, kind of diffuse the situation," Gratzianna said. "A lot of times we show up, they don't know we're en route."

Gratzianna, who has been with the fire department for 18 years, can't remember the last time there was a fire at any of the group homes. And he said it's rare for a resident to deliberately activate a fire alarm.

In Arlington Heights, when there's an inordinate number of fire alarms at a specific address, personnel either write a citation or investigate to see whether there's a reason the alarms keep going off, Fire Chief Glenn Ericksen said.

"I'm not aware of us having to do that with any of the group homes," Ericksen said.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.