False alarm ordinance watch

SSN Staff  - 
Saturday, February 1, 2003

Fort Myers, Fla.

In an attempt to cover the cost of responding to false alarms, Lee County commissioners are considering adopting an ordinance requiring a permit fee for each alarm installation.

A report in the Fort Myers News-Press said the new plan probably will not be enacted until sometime in April or May, and the amount of the fee has yet to be determined.

The commissioners’ plan has gained the support of the Alarm Association of Florida Southwest Region, according to Association Vice President Bob Coss.

Lee County Sheriff Rod Shoap said he also prefers the permit plan to fining property owners who have multiple false alarms.

New Britain, Conn.

With an eye towards reducing the growing number of false alarms in the city, New Britain is considering raising fines for recurrent incidents.

According to the Hartford Courant, the proposal would reduce the number of false alarms allowed in a calendar year from two to one. The fine for the second false alarm would be $50, and would also require users to certify that their security systems have been checked and are functioning properly. The fines increase to $80 for any subsequent false alarm.

The ordinance would also look to make alarm companies more accountable, asking them to better monitor customers who falsely trigger panic buttons.

According to the proposal, an alarm company would be fined $100 for each panic alarm that is not legitimate.

The proposed ordinance will be taken up by the New Britain salaries and ordinances committee before being returned to the city council later this year.

Palatine, Ill.

In an attempt to help reduce the more than $200,000 debt the Palatine Rural Fire Protection District is facing this year, officials recently approved new false alarm fees.

According to the Chicago Daily Herald, a warning letter will be sent to building owners for the first false alarm during any three-month period.

A second false alarm would result in a $150 fine, with the fine for a third incident increasing to $300.

Each additional false alarm during that same three-month period would result in a $500 fine, and if it is determined that a false alarm is intentionally set, an additional $1,000 is added to the fine.

“These false alarm fees are a cost-reduction type tool,” said Fire Chief Hank Clemmensen. “It will hopefully force the owners who have bad alarms to fix them.”

Waterloo, N.Y

In an effort to reduce the amount of time spent responding to false alarm calls, Seneca County officials plan to start charging local businesses and homes for false alarms in their security systems.

Beginning last month, the county began issuing alarm permits for $25 a year, allowing a business or home two false alarms. The next alarm will cost the owner $25, each subsequent false alarm is $50.

The new law exempts senior s and people with medical alarms, who will have to fill out a special county application.