Alarm ordinance watch

SSN Staff  - 
Saturday, July 1, 2006

Alarm companies whose customers fail to apply for a $10 alarm permit with the city could be held accountable under a proposal to update the city's alarm ordinance.
Though details still need to be worked out, city officials are searching for a way to monitor the number of security systems in the city. It's estimated that one out of six homes have a security system, according to a report in the Casa Grande Dispatch.
City officials plan to include a provision in its updated alarm ordinance requiring alarm companies to provide new alarm customers with a copy of the city's alarm ordinance and tell them they have 10 days to file for a $10 alarm permit.
As part of changing its alarm ordinance, the city is also reviewing how many free false alarms it would allow before imposing fines. One city official has suggested that for the third false alarm, the alarm owner should be required to attend an alarm school. Another city official suggested that alarm owners should be allowed four false alarms before imposing fines.
Beginning in May, residents and businesses were required to register their security system with the sheriff's office as part of a new ordinance enacted by Martin County Commissioners.
By the end of this summer, after all the alarm systems are registered, the county plans to begin fining for false alarms. The second false alarm will cost $25 with increases up to $150 for 10 false alarms, according to a report in the Palm Beach Post. After 10 false alarms, the county can revoke an alarm permit.
Martin County reported 11,497 false alarm calls in 2004.
Alarm and business owners who do not pay their false alarm fines within 30 days now face a court summons.
The city decided to get tough with false alarm offenders' fines after having little success in getting violators to pay fines, according to a report in The Record. It amended its alarm ordinance in May.
The city's previous ordinance imposed false alarm fines of $25 for the fourth through tenth false alarm, but offered no recourse when false alarm offenders did not pay their fines. The amended ordinance charges $30 for registering a new security system and a $10 renewal fee.