Alarm ordinance watch
Center Harbor, N.H.
The police and fire chiefs here are teaming to craft an alarm ordinance, at the order of the Board of Selectmen. The chiefs met with the selectmen last month to outline a possible remedy to increasing false alarms and to mandate a specially designed lock box containing a key for rescue personnel to gain access to every building with an alarm system. Three false alarms would trigger a fee of some sort, the chiefs told the Citizen of Laconia. Penalty appeals would go to the Board of Selectmen.
City officials here have added a new wrinkle to the fire ordinances. New buildings standing taller than 55 feet must have a fire equipment storage room on an upper level, according to the Sacramento Bee, along with a smoke management system and a computerized fire alarm system with recorded voice instructions. Officials estimate the additional features would cost as much as $311,000 in a 158,000-square-foot building. The development community is reportedly unhappy with the new ordinance, which goes into effect July 1.
On May 1, town commissioners here unanimously approved the addition of a fire, smoke, burglary and robbery alarm system regulation to the town ordinances, reported the Pilot. Modeled after an ordinance adopted recently by Southern Pines, N.C., the new Aberdeen rules will allow businesses four false alarms during any 12-month period, beginning with the first alarm recorded. After the fourth alarm, all further alarms will result in a $50 fine. Residential systems remain unregulated for the time being.
Gulf Breeze, Fla.
As part of an effort here to improve Emergency Medical Response services, county commissioners are looking at retooling the alarm ordinance, reported the Gulf Breeze News. Public services director Tony Gomillion said in early May that he was looking to hire a medical director for the county, who would oversee both fire fighters and emergency medical technicians, as a way to streamline emergency response. After that, he's targeting the false security alarm ordinance, especially "the commercial entities that don't repair their alarms ... our first responders might be responding to those. We have some situations where they go unrepaired. It's just a waste of resources. That's what that ordinance would address."
The town council here decided April 21 to dedicate all false alarm fees collected to a fund that will go toward mobile data terminals and other equipment for police, reported the Mooreseville/Decatur Times.
An amendment to the alarm ordinance was passed by the City Council here on May 1. Annual permit fees were increased by $25 to $50 annually for residential alarms and from $50 to $100 annually for commercial alarms. The police department, reported the Courier-Gazette, requested the change to help offset the costs of increasing false alarm calls.