False alarm ordinance watch

SSN Staff  - 
Wednesday, January 1, 2003

Enfield, Conn.

The town council unanimously passed an alarm ordinance in November that fines repeat false alarm offenders $50 for each false alarm.

The new ordinance replaces an older one that fell off the books in the 1980s. In 1985 the town adopted a false alarm ordinance and collected $260 in fines, but enforcement lapsed, according to a report in The Hartford Courant.

Police stopped issuing fines after a review board set up to hear appeals fell apart.

Besides charging $50 for repeat false alarms, the town will also penalize business owners who let alarm fines pile up by barring them from doing business with the town.

The ordinance exempts town and school buildings from being penalized.

Oklahoma City, Okla.

On Nov. 19, the Oklahoma City Council once again postponed action on a proposal for an annual alarm permit.

The proposal was returned to city staff with suggested changes which could lower the annual renewal charge while raising the fee for repeated false alarms, according to a report in the Daily Oklahoman.

The original proposal called for an annual registration fee of $20, with a $25 charge for each false security alarm after the first four in a year, and a $50 charge for each extra false fire alarm.

Council members discussed charging a $10 annual registration fee, and raising the fee for false alarms to $50 for security alarms and $100 for fire alarms.

Ralston, Neb.

The city council is considering a proposal that would set fines for false alarms to rise as high as $250.

The proposal comes as the council looks for ways to balance the city budget after a local sales tax proposal was voted down in November.

A report in the Omaha World Herald said council members are proposing a $25 annual security alarm registration fee. Home and business owners would then be charged an increasing amount for every time police have to respond to false alarms after a first warning.

Any home or business owners who fail to register their alarms would have to pay $250 per false alarm.

According to city officials, the fees could raise up to $2,500 per year.

Regina, Saskatchewan

The Board of Police Commissioners passed a motion in late November that recommends alarm customers pay a $75 fine for more than two false alarms in a year as part of a plan to implement a false alarm policy in 2003.

So far the board is recommending that alarm users pay a $15 annual registration fee, according to a report in The Leader-Post. After four false alarms, police want to serve local alarm owners with a one-year suspension.

After local alarm companies complained about the proposal, commissioners agreed to form an implementation committee with representatives from alarm companies, monitoring companies and an alarm-coordinator from the city.