Alarm Ordinance Watch

SSN Staff  - 
Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Smithfield, Va.
The Daily Press reported in early December that the Town Council here has passed a new false-alarm ordinance, modeled on a policy adopted by Isle of Wight County officials in October. The new ordinance will charge $50 if police respond to a third false alarm in any 90-day period for residents, or any 180-day period for commercial alarm owners. Fees rise to $150 for a fifth alarm in that time period. Should firefighters respond, fees rise further to $100 for a third false alarm and $500 for a fifth.
Greenville, N.C.
The Daily Reflector reported that a false-alarm ordinance that went into effect July 1, is now being enforced as of Oct. 1. The city has launched a media campaign to publicize the new requirements to the public. Residential and commercial alarm owners must register their systems with the police department or face a $200 fine. Annual permits cost $15 for the first year and can be renewed for $5 in following years. The first false alarm is free, but the second false alarm for a permitted system is $25; the third and fourth false alarm is $50 each; the fines move up to $400 for the ninth and beyond. False alarms from a non-permitted system will be assessed an additional $200 penalty.
Lufkin, Texas
TV station KTRE reported last month that the City Council here is considering a false alarm ordinance that would allow each institution five false alarms per year. After that, the city would charge $300 for each subsequent false alarm. Both fire and burglar alarms would fall under the policy. It’s not hard to see why false alarms are costing the city so much: “From time to time, someone will call warning us it’s a false alarm and not to send anyone,” the television station quoted communications supervisor Keith Pickley as saying. “However, we’re not on the scene, so we don’t know what the situation is. So we must respond and send units out regardless.”
Cañon City, Colo.
The Daily Record reported in early December that the City Council here is considering an update to the city’s laws regarding third-party alarm companies. If the ordinance is passed, owners and partners will undergo an individual history record and criminal record check, and a business permit will cost $250 annually. In addition, city officials say they will now begin actively enforcing a $25 fee for a fourth false alarm in a calendar year and $50 for a fifth and beyond. City Clerk Becky Walker and Police Chief Dan Shull collaborated on updating the ordinance.