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Fire Alarms At Beach Could Cost Darien $4K A Year

DARIEN, Conn. – Darien recently completed work on new buildings at Weed Beach but may need to pay more to ensure nothing happens to them. It could cost the town nearly $4,000 more per year to monitor the fire alarms installed at the beach.

Alarms have been installed at the concession stand, the warming hut and the bathhouse, but they are not tied to a monitoring service, Parks and Recreation Director Sue Swiatek said. Although it’s not an issue now because the beach is staffed for the busy season, in the off-season nobody would be around to alert the fire department if the alarms went off.

To connect to a monitoring system, each alarm must be attached to two phone lines, Swiatek said. She spoke with several monitoring companies as well as the fire marshal’s office, which all said it is standard practice to have a phone line and a backup line for each alarm.

The cost of hooking up the alarms would be about $30 a month per phone line, plus $420 a year per alarm, for a total of $3,420 per year, Swiatek said.

The money is not in the Parks and Recreation Department’s operating budget and would require either a transfer or a special appropriation from the town. The systems would not be paid for out of the money the town paid for the renovation, she said, because those funds covered capital expenses, not operating expenses.

At its last meeting, the Parks and Recreation Commission approved the installation of an alarm-monitoring system at the beach. A memo was sent to the Board of Selectmen to talk with the town’s insurance company to decide whether the second line for each alarm system was necessary.

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