False alarm ordinance watch

SSN Staff  - 
Friday, March 1, 2002

The city's police chief is talking about forming a focus group with the alarm industry to discuss ways to reduce false alarms.

According to a report in the Fort Worth Star Telegram, police respond to more than 90 alarm calls each day. That totals out to be about 34,000 last year.

The police chief, in raising the focus group idea, did not make any specific suggestions for reducing the city's false alarm rate.
However, he did note that Las Vegas and Salt Lake City reduced their false alarm rates by not responding to burglar alarms unless verified first.

A proposed alarm ordinance will be up for a vote this month by the town's residents.

The ordinance, proposed by Selectmen, will charge $50 for each false alarm beyond a four alarm limit per year, according to a report in the Central Maine Morning Sentinel.

Last year the Kennebec County Sheriff's Office responded to 23 alarms in Belgrade. City officials say they want to combat false alarms before it gets to be a bigger problem.

Other neighboring cities have also addressed their false alarm problems. In Augusta, the city charges $25 for more than three false alarms in a year. Last year, the city had 1,075 false alarms.

If approved by voters, penalty fees collected in Belgrade will be used to supplement the town's food bank.
Eureka, Calif.

An old alarm ordinance is now being enforced after the police department saw a sharp increase in the number of false alarms over the past few months.

According to a report from The Associated Press, the city has more than 3,000 false alarms a year.

After one warning, if an alarm falsely sounds within 30 days the alarm owner could be subject to a $25 fee subject to the police department's judgement. Another false alarm in 30 days could raise the fine to $50.

Failure to pay the fine after 60 days could result in alarm systems connected to the police dispatch center to be disconnected.

The city council will begin charging city departments fines for setting off false alarms in a city building.

Each building will get three false alarms per year, but after that the first call costs $50, with $50 added to each subsequent false alarm, according to a report in the St. Petersburg Times.

The fines will come from department budgets, which will be docked each time one of their employees causes a false alarm.

The new policy is the city council's way to not exempt city buildings from paying fines.