Christchurch firefighters attended 6236 false alarm incidents between 2018 and 2020.
A false alarm is a call where there was no fire or other emergency requiring intervention to prevent injury, death or loss of property.
Fire and Emergency New Zealand attends more than 20,000 false alarm calls every year nationwide, which can amount to about 50 to 70 per cent of all call-outs at some fire stations.
The number of false alarm call-outs in Christchurch was 2296 in 2018 and 2407 in 2019. This number decreased to 1533 last year.
Of these, 196 were deemed malicious incidents, where alarms were activated deliberately in spite of there being no real fire or other emergency.
Of the false alarms since 2018, 1412 were found to be made in good intent. Other reasons for these call-outs ranged from accidental alarm activations (1867) and faulty alarms (2147).
Two hundred and fifty three false alarm causes were undetermined.
A fire service call-out used to cost Fire and Emergency New Zealand about $1250 to attend and a perc196 were deemed malicious incidents, where alarms were activated deliberately entage of this amount was reclaimed in fines.
Senior fire risk management officer Bruce Irvine said this is not the case anymore and punishment or further action is only considered when false alarms are continually made by a person, business or other party.
"We used to have the ability under the New Zealand Fire Service Act to be able to charge for false alarms. We don't now.
"What we now do is work with the occupant and if they refuse to do anything, then what we can do is, in some circumstances, disconnect the fire alarm from Fire and Emergency New Zealand, which then means that their building can't be occupied for the use that it is designed for,'' Irvine said.
However, he said people should always phone 111 when they suspect there is a fire or other emergency, as FENZ has enough resources to attend calls even when they turn out to be false alarms.
"We don't have an issue with that, we prefer them to do that. Especially a smell of smoke or a smell of concern in an electrical appliance, we will send a crew and they'll investigate it and more often than not, there's no big blaze but we've just got to identify the part that's failing and prevent the fire in the first place."