August 2012 - Posts

Lowell, MA, City Becoming Stricter on Alarm Registration Ordinance

Passed by the City Council in 2006, the ordinance states that false alarm activations for residences and businesses will be tracked, and all privately monitored alarm systems must be registered.

To combat false alarms, both residential and commercial buildings will have be allowed two false alarms without fines, but while residential buildings will pay $50 for a third false alarm and $200 for 5 or more false alarms, commercial buildings will pay $200 for a 3rd false alarm and $300 for 5 or more false alarms.

City residents and business owners will also be required to renew their alarm registrations annually. The registration fee is $15 for commercial sites and $10 for residents with the fee being waived for senior citizens.

Sacramento, CA, Police get Tougher on False Alarms

Police and fire agencies from Sacramento, CA, to San Diego have begun issuing stricter fine to businesses and residents whose security systems have repeated false alarms.

Beginning in October, Sacramento police will charge homeowners $120 for a third false alarm, and $240 for businesses. These fines will increase to $180 and $360, respectively, by the fifth offense. Instead of responding right away to burglar alarms, police will require that alarm-monitoring companies call two responsible parties at the home or business to confirm that there was no false alarm.

The change effective Oct. 1 includes switching from alarm permits that extend three years to requirements for annual renewals. This policy helps police keep up to date with changes in ownership, and to know the names and phone numbers of the best people to call if an alarm goes off.

Rexburg, ID, Takes Action to Stop False Alarms

Rexburg, ID, City Council is proposing a false alarm ordinance that would create more cooperation between businesses and police.

Police have had an issue with business owners who expect false alarms to occur and have told police they will handle the false alarm themselves. This creates an unsafe environment for police officers and causes them to resort to self-defense mode.

Businesses will now have to register their alarm systems to the city of Rexburg. The first false alarm at a business will result in a $25 fee, the second will be $50 and after three false alarms, police will no longer respond to the calls unless the business documents that the alarm has been fixed. The Rexburg City Council seems to be in favor of passing this ordinance.

The ordinance is expected to be voted on by the Rexburg City Council on Sept. 19.

Williston Park, NY, Penalties Against False Alarms are Considered

The East Williston Village Board will discuss imposing penalties for false alarms at a public hearing in Williston Park, NY.

The current plan is that the first two false alarms will not be charged with fines, but $150 will be fined for a third and fourth violation and there will be a $350 fine for a fifth false alarm. Alarms triggered by shower streams or cooking smoke will not be considered violations of the new code.

Hammond, IN, City Council Plans to Increase Alarm Fees

City Council members in Hammond, IN, gave initial approval to a false alarm ordinance earlier this month and sent it to committee.

Under the ordinance, alarm system users won’t be charged for the first two false alarms in a year, but would face up to $100 in fines for additional instances.
The City Council will meet in committee on August 27.

Annapolis, MD, City to Enforce False Alarm Ordinance

Starting on September 1, police will enforce a city wide false alarm ordinance in Annapolis, MD.

Fines will be assessed for repeat false alarms. Property owners will get a pass for the first two false alarms, but there will be a $100 fine for the third and fourth false alarms in a year. $200 will be the fine for more than four false alarms.

The Police Department is also launching a free online alarm registration form which will aid police in contacting alarm users when emergencies or false alarms occur. There is no charge to register an alarm.

Las Cruces, NM, Date Set for Second Hearing on Alarm Ordinance

The second hearing for proposed changes to the Las Cruces, NM, alarm ordinance are set for August 25th.  Residents, business owners, and alarm providers are encouraged to participate. 

The proposed changes discussed in this meeting will be:*
•    Requiring alarm system owners to register their systems with the city, paying a $25 annual fee for residential alarm systems and $50 for alarm systems used commercially.
•    Contact information must be provided to the alarm company when alarms are installed.
•    Mandatory training must be taken of the alarm system they use in their home, business or school.
•    A $100 fine would be levied for failing to register an alarm system, and an alarm company could be charged $200 if it failed to provide the city with background checks on employees.

To combat false alarms, a series of fines will be established for reoccurring false alarm violators. No fines would be assessed for the first two false alarm calls, but a $100 fine would be charged for a third false alarm call, $200 for a fourth, $300 for a fifth and $300 for a sixth.  Additionally in the case of a sixth false alarm, the home, business or school would be required to go on mandatory verified response.

*Information provided from Aug. 9 article in the Las Cruces Sun-News.

Dunwoody, GA, Ordinance Suggested and Questioned

Police Chief Billy Grogan of proposed a new ordinance for alarm monitoring before the Dunwoody, GA, city council.
This ordinance would require businesses and residences to register their security alarms and pay a $15 annual fee.  A fine of $100 would be assessed for failure to register an alarm with the city.
In the case that penalty or registration fees are not paid, police would not respond to alarm calls unless there was an actual crime and 911 was called. Once the false alarm fee is paid, then the police would again respond to alarms.

Alarm users would have to pay penalty fees for three or more false alarms.Under the ordinance, false alarm fees would range from $50 for the third false alarm to $500 for 10 or more false alarms. Management of the ordinance, including registering alarms, would be outsourced.

The ordinance was scrutinized during public comment because of the $15 annual fee. Many felt like this was an unnecessary tax.
The ordinance will come together again at their next meeting on September 10. If passed, the ordinance would not be adopted until at least October and not take effect until at least January 2013.

Beloit, WI, Ordinance Allows Prosecution of CO Detector Law Violations

The Beloit, WI, City Council unanimously approved an ordinance on Aug. 20 that would allow the city to prosecute violations of laws regarding carbon monoxide detectors in homes.

Current Wisconsin law requires CO detectors to be installed on every floor of a single or two-family dwelling. The new ordinance would allow the city to prosecute violations of this law in municipal court rather than in circuit court.

A first offense of the ordinance is a $172 fine; a second offense is $298 and the third is $424. 

Bend, OR, Council Passes False Alarm Ordinance with Revision

The Bend, OR, City Council unanimously passed a first reading of a revision to an existing False Alarm ordinance which will impact businesses and residents.
Revisions include erasing fines for first time offenders. Though there will be no fine for the first false alarm, fines will be increased for the second and third alarms. There have been no dollar figures assigned yet to these fines.

The revision also requires a registration fee for homeowners and businesses with alarms.

West Virginia Law Requires CO Detectors for Certain Buildings

Starting Sept. 1, a new will come into effect requiring carbon monoxide detectors in hotels, motels, rental properties, boarding houses, dormitories, and adult and child care centers.

This law was set in place after a hotel pool pump leaked CO, killing one man and leaving dozens of hotel guests ill.  The hotel did not have CO detectors installed at the time because they “did not have to."

At the moment, CO detectors are not required in residential homes that aren’t rented, but emergency officials hope that homeowners will take that responsibility into their own hands.

Hammond, IN, City Council Considers Increasing Fines for False Alarms

Under a proposed ordinance to the City Council on Aug. 13, Police and Fire Departments in Hammond, IN, seek to increase fines for false alarms.  

The language of the ordinance states that alarm system users wouldn’t be charged for the first two false alarms in a year, but additional instances would face fines. Fines range from $25 to $100 per alarm depending on how many times public safety officials were called to the property.
Fines would be due within 10 days after the alarm user receives written notice of the violation.

Lisle-Woodridge Loses Appeal to Stay Injunction During Appeal

On August 15, the Lisle-Woodridge Fire Protection District filed a Motion to Stay Enforcement of the Modified Permanent Injunction while the District appeals the Injunction entered on August 7, 2012.

During the hearing on August 17, 2012, Judge Milton Shadur denied the motion and it is expected that the District will appeal to the 7th Circuit.

For exclusive, up-to-the-minute insight on this situation, please sign up for the IESA's September 13 meeting and social event during which Edward Williams, the IESA's legal counsel, will attempt to clarify and explain what has happened so far in the legal proceedings; what issues remain to be decided by the federal district court; as well as discuss its potential impact on the electronic security industry.

There will be no other venue to receive this depth of information except for the hour-long presentation at the September 13 meeting and social event that will be held at Arlington Park.

The cost for the all-day luncheon and social event is $45 for members and $55 for non-members until August 31, at which time the cost will be $85. Sign up today by faxing your completed registration form - located at - to 773-632-3141.

Trumbull, CT, Town Council Unanimously Passes Alarm Ordinance

To minimize false alarms, the Trumbull, CT, Police Department promoted an alarm ordinance that was recently passed by the Town Council.

Chief Thomas Kiely said the amount of false alarms in a year totals up to two officers responding to only false alarms for a year.

Under the new ordinance, registration will be free and the first false alarm penalty will be waived. After that, the penalty starts at $100 and increases after each incident. Registrants may take a course that nullifies another false alarm incident.

Town properties are exempt from the fines. Eventually, the town will upgrade all of its alarm systems so they can be centrally monitored.

The ordinance will begin Jan. 1, 2013. Police will hold several educational programs regarding the ordinance as it comes.

Ypsilanti, MI, Alarm Catches Burglar on Camera

Images have been released of a suspect who forcibly entered Los Amigos Mexican Restaurant in Ypsilanti, MI, during the early morning of August 2.

The intruder entered the restaurant by making a hole using a brick that was large enough for him to reach inside and unlock the door.  Once inside, he stole cash from the register, which only contained coins, and a couple bottles of alcohol.

The restaurant's surveillance system recorded images of the suspect and sent them to the county sheriff’s office.

This break-in follows closely to a rash of pharmacy burglaries in the area in which the intruder had attempted to enter the building by throwing bricks through the window.