False alarm ordinance watch
Last month, city officials proposed to increase fees to homeowners who repeatedly have false alarms.
Currently, the false alarm ordinance allows one false alarm per amonth without charge. The city charges $48 dollars for a false burglar alarm and $100 for a false fire alarm for anything over the one per month allotment, reported WTVD.
The proposed fee structure will become effective in January 2006. The proposed fees are as follows: the first false alarm will be free; the second and third combined are $150 each; the fourth and fifth false alarm is $200; the sixth and seventh is $250; the eighth is $300; and 10 or more false alarms will incur a $350 fee.
In May, the city council unanimously voted to implement a burglar alarm ordinance that has been proposed for three months. Under the law, if a burglar alarm triggered at a commercial or residential site turns out to be false on three occasions during a year, police will respond to future alarms only if there are attempts to verify a security breach, reported the Ventura County Star.
Verification will be required to occur by two methods, such as a video feed, activation of exterior alarm sensors, verification by telephone or by a private guard. Calls would need to be verified only from the hours of 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and during evening hours the rule would be lifted.
Fines will be incorporated to those with multiple false alarms. The third false alarm is $150, the fourth false alarm is $250 and any subsequent false alarm would cost $500.
Summit County, Colo.
The sheriff of Summit County is campaigning for an ordinance that would raise fees for false alarms. The county is facing a false alarm rate of 99.9 percent of the county's 2,839 burglar alarms, reported the Summit Daily News.
The ordinance would require a $50 registration of alarms, annually. Alarms that are registered will not be fined for the first false alarm, but the second false alarm costs $75 and the third violation will be $150.
Unregistered alarms would face steeper fines. The first false alarm in a year is fined $150, the second false alarm is charged $500 and additional false alarms would be fined $1,000 each time.
Torrance County fire and police departments pitched an alarm ordinance to the Torrance County Commission in May that would fine property owners who have three or more false alarms, reported the East Mountain Telegraph.
Property owners who have alarms for safety or medical reasons would have to apply for a permit from the county. The county would require alarm companies to have permits and supply contact numbers for their customers.
Police said permits would alleviate some of the problems police and fire crews have when trying to locate properties where an alarm has been set off.
In May, the city council altered its emergency alarm ordinance to reduce the number of false alarms in the town.
Fines will be imposed after two false alarms, while the third and fourth false alarm will result in a $150 fee. It increases to $250 for five false alarms, while the sixth alarm will cost the property owner $500. The seventh false alarm will cause the owner's permit to be revoked, reported the Akron Beacon Journal.
The fire chief said false alarms cost the fire department nearly $200,000 last year.