Alarm ordinance watch

SSN Staff  - 
Friday, February 1, 2008

Rancho Cordova, Calif.
City officials here have proposed an amendment to the alarm ordinance, reported the Sacramento Bee, that would retain the current fine schedule and initial $50 registration fee, but would institute a new $45 biennial permit renewal fee and possibly institute enhanced call verification. Further measures proposed include requiring alarm companies to file a report with the police department every two years, providing the name, birth date, driver's license number, address and telephone number of each alarm system subscriber, along with similar details about emergency contacts. The report would also include the number, type and location of alarm systems at each site, according to the Bee. Some alarm companies in the area have taken umbrage with this report, citing a desire to preserve the privacy of their customers. Even the police chief described the proposal as "old-school thinking," citing his department's ability to identify homes by parcel number anyway.
Goodhue County, Minn.
The County Sheriff's Office here has announced that, as of Jan. 1, 2008, it is now enforcing a 1994 ordinance that imposes penalties on those with alarm systems activating too many false alarms, reported the Southeastern Minnesota Bulletin. Alarm companies are now being required, and this time they mean it, to report to the Sheriff's Office the address where the alarm system is, the kind of alarm, the names and addresses of two key-holders, and the type of property that has the alarm. Fines will be assessed following a fourth false alarm in a calendar year: $50 for the fourth alarm, $100 each for the fifth and further false alarms.
Fairfield, Utah
At their December town council meeting, Fairfield leaders approved an ordinance requiring fire inspections on new buildings and businesses. The new ordinance also regulates fire alarm requirements and sets fees for fire inspections.
New Castle County, Del.
A new alarm ordinance goes into effect here in Februrary, reported Delaware Online. Police began in January registering alarm system owners through Affiliated Computer Services, a company whose subsidiary, Cry Wolf, monitors false alarms for the city of Philadelphia. Cry Wolf will send bills to violators and refer disputes to the police department. A third false alarm will result in a fine of $100, fifth and further alarms will be charged $250. There is a $50 fine for not registering an alarm system that triggers a false alarm. The ordinance was passed in June 2006, but was not implemented until now because the county needed time to select a vendor to manage the fines. ACS will be paid between 85 and 95 percent of all the fines it collects. The program has the support of the Delaware Alarm Association.
Sierra Vista, Ariz.
The City Council here is considering adding fire alarms to the ordinance regulating and licensing alarm systems and false alarms, the Herald Review reported. It would also change the duration of all alarm permits to reset at the beginning of the calendar year, rather than a year from the permit issuance.
Redding, Conn.
The police department here is making new effort to support a 2001 false alarm ordinance that hasn't had the desired effect of drastically reducing false alarms, reported the Redding Pilot. A new education program has police talking to homeowners and business owners about the issue of preventable false alarms, as well as sending a letter to all registered alarm owners. Further, the officers are leaving a hang-tag on the doorknobs of homes where they have responded to a false alarm, while only sending out bills for fines incurred once a year.