Alarm Ordinance Watch

SSN Staff  - 
Sunday, February 1, 2009

BRISTOL, Tenn. announced on Jan. 6 that the city of Bristol was amending its false alarm ordinance. Currently, the city’s ordinance states that a violation occurs when a system issues three false alarms in a 30-day period, or eight in 12 months. The amendment under consideration would drop the limit for false alarms to three times in 12 months. Anything above that would be considered a violation. Additionally, the ordinance amendment would allow the city to assess the home or business owner whose alarm goes off but is found non-verifiable in violation of that three-a-year limit.


The Northwest Arkansas Times reported  that an ordinance aimed at reducing the city’s false alarm rate from automated alarm systems by fining repeat offenders was to go into effect at the start of 2009. The ordinance requires businesses and residents to pay a series of fines for every false alarm call, beginning with the second offense. Fines start at $75 and reach up to $250. Residents and business owners may appeal the fine to a city panel, appointed by the chief. The panel must consist of at least one alarm industry representative, a member of the Fayetteville Police Department and a local citizen. The ordinance mandates suspension after the sixth false alarm call.


The Rocky Mount Telegram  reported that the Rocky Mount Police would in January 2009 enforce a new security alarm ordinance. The ordinance will require homes, churches, schools and businesses in Rocky Mount equipped with security systems to register with the city. For the first three false alarm calls from a business, residence, church or school, no fine will be imposed. On the fourth or fifth false call, a $50 fine will be imposed; the sixth or seventh, $100; the eighth or ninth, $250; and 10 or more, $250.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. announced that anyone using a monitored security alarm system would be required to register with the Virginia Beach Police Department. Beginning January 1, 2009, Virginia Beach planned to implement a fee for repeat offenders. Alarm system owners will be allowed two false alarms each year, but after that will be required to pay of fee of $150 per false alarm. A registration form can be downloaded at

YUKON, Okla.

NewsOK reported that beginning in January 2009 the city of Yukon planned to  begin issuing fines to residents and business owners who have frequent false alarms. Anyone wishing to install an alarm must have a permit. End users, both commercial and residential, will be allowed two false alarms per calendar year, after which a fine schedule goes into effect. False alarms three and four earn a $50 fine. Five or more false alarms will be fined $100 per incident. If a fine isn’t paid within 30 days, the alarm permit will be revoked. The fine will be waived if the alarm is triggered because of inclement weather. The cost of a permit also increased from $25 to $50. Permits will be valid for one year, and a $10 renewal fee must be paid annually.


The Gaston Gazette reported  that the Bessemer City council had proposed a penalty structure that imposes fines for anyone with more than two false alarms in a year. The proposed payment structure would charge $50 for the third, fourth and fifth false alarms; $100 for the sixth and seventh; $250 for the eighth and ninth; and $500 for 10 or more consecutive calls.