False alarm ordinance watch
A revamped false alarm policy for the town now requires that any home with a fire or security system also include a lockable key box with a master key to the building, an information sheet for operating the security system and a list of people to call in case of an alarm.
The policy also requires the installation of a visible flashing red light on the exterior of the building for a fire alarm or a flashing blue light for a security alarm, according to a report in The Citizen.
The changes follow the town's fire department responding to 11 false fire alarms at the same home in one month.
Other additions to the policy include a false alarm fee increase. The town will not charge for the first false alarm, but it will impose a $50 fee for the second false alarm in one year and a $100 fine for the third. Four or more false alarms will now cost $250.
LEXINGTON COUNTY, S.C.
A new ordinance now in front of the County Council would impose a $100 fine for the first false alarm, according to a report in The State.com.
Along with false alarm fines, the county would also require that all alarm companies register with the county. And repeat false alarm offenders could be placed on a do not respond list.
While the county has considered the measure before, this is the first time members of the County Council might move forward with an ordinance. The council could vote on the measure before the end of this year.
For the first time, Medford will now charge for false alarms.
The City Council gave the police department the go ahead to start charging for false alarms and to increase its annual alarm permit fee, according to the Mail Tribune.
Now, residents will have to pay $30 for an alarm permit, compared with $13 previously. And, for a second false alarm in a year, the city will charge $50. By the fifth false alarm, the city will suspend an alarm permit and the security system owner must pay a $400 reinstatement fee.
Beginning Oct. 1, all home and business owners began paying a surcharge if they have a monitored security system.
The $50 fee for homeowners and $100 charge for businesses drew complaints from the Tillsonburg Police Services Board, which thought the town would impose false alarm fees, not a user fee, according to a report in The Tillsonburg News.
The approach is similar to one taken in neighboring Ingersoll, where the town also sends a letter to security system owners after a certain number of false alarms.