September 2012 - Posts

Remote Monitoring Market Had a Value of More Than $29 Billion in 2011

According to a new report from IMS Research, the world market for remote monitoring services was worth more than $29 billion in 2011.

The market for remote services includes alarm monitoring, video monitoring, physical access control, fire detection monitoring, and Personal Emergency Response Services (PERS). Niall Jenkins, an IMS analyst and author of the report,said that PERS is currently one of the fastest-growing branches of the remote monitoring market.

“The popularity [of PERS] is being driven by the increased independence that the system allows for the user, as well as the peace of mind it offers to their relations,” Jenkins told Security Systems News.

With North America accounting for 45 percent of revenues, according to IMS Research, the United States leads the world in demand for remote monitoring services.

Dunwoody, GA, City Council Delays False Alarm Ordinance

After disagreeing over the terms of the ordinance, the Dunwoody, GA, City Council chose to delay adopting a new false alarm ordinance proposed by Police Chief Billy Grogan.

During a council meeting on Sept. 24, Grogan asked the City Council to consider the ordinance as a means to cut down false alarms in the city. The suggested ordinance would have required people to register their alarm systems and pay fines ranging from $50 to $500 for having more than three false alarms.

Council members took issue with the section of the ordinance stating that police would not respond to alarm calls from people who haven’t paid the fines they’ve accumulated within 30 days. Grogan responded to this by reminding the council that they will still respond to panicked 911 calls from the alarm. Councilman Denis Shortal still felt that the ordinance, as it is written, could have unintended consequences.

Councilwoman Lynn Deutsch suggested tabling the ordinance to give Grogan time to return to the council with more data. The council took a 4-3 vote to table the ordinance.

Somerset, KY, City Looking into False Alarm Ordinance

On Sept. 10, a false alarm ordinance was discussed at a Board meeting in Somerset, KY.

Somerset City Attorney Carrie Wiese said that the county government may be looking into issuing a city false alarm ordinance. Wiese suggested that she would draft an ordinance herself if the county did not produce its own ordinance. The basic ordinance would give financial penalties (fines) to business owners who caused false alarms over a certain amount of times.

This brand new ordinance has quite a ways more to go and several forward thinking SPD officers “wholly in favor of reducing the number of false alarms that keep officers tied up.”

Austin, TX, City Gets Busy to Fight False Alarms

In an effort to prevent more false alarms in Austin, TX, Police Chief Art Acevedo  asked the Austin, TX, city council to add 22 new officers to help keep up with all calls.

A generous false alarm ordinance is already set in place which allows Austin alarm owners to have three false alarms for no fine during a year. After the three free alarms however, each false alarm will cause a $50 fine.

Acevedo acknowledged that a policy review may be warranted to help prevent more false alarms.

Issues with PSAP Raise Safety Concerns in Illinois

The Daily Herald reported on July 19 that the union representing dispatchers for the Northwest Central Dispatch System presented a vote of "no confidence" in the agency's management. This disapproval is associated with problems in the delayed response times of the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP).

According to the Daily Herald article, this vote of 'no confidence' in the PSAP system "stems from members' frustrations with a new computer-aided dispatch system installed April 24. The system, used for routing emergency calls to fire and police departments, has been plagued with problems affecting response times.”

Kevin Lehan, manager of Public Relations at Emergency 24 and the executive director of the Illinois Electronic Security Association, believes that cities and towns should take a closer look at monitoring in central stations instead of PSAP for the safety of the public.

From an article published on July 25 in the Security Systems News, Lehan said that central stations have "documented time and time again that they are safe because of standards they have to meet to become UL listed and gain other approvals.”

"PSAPs aren't inherently safer than central stations," said Lehan, "Don't cut the central station out of the loop- we are very much a part of the public safety process."

Lisle-Woodridge Ruling is 'Step Forward' for Illinois

On Aug. 7, 2012, Federal Judge Milton Shadur, who is presiding over the Lisle-Woodridge case that the alarm industry has been following, issued a modified permanent injunction stating that Fire Protection Districts can't require private businesses to contract only with the district for fire alarm monitoring and that businesses cannot be banned from contracting with private central stations that meet with approved codes and standards.

This lawsuit was filed by ADT and other alarm companies after the Lisle-Woodridge Fire Protection District adopted an ordinance in 2009 which put itself solely in charge of fire monitoring in the district.

"I would sum it up by saying that this was a great step forward for licensed alarm contractors in the state as well as the fire services," said Kevin Lehan, manager of Public Relations at Emergency 24 and the executive director of the Illinois Electronic Security Association. "I know that they had been waiting for this ruling, as well as our industry has, and the ultimate winners are going to be the consumers."

Dyersburg, TN, City Discusses Stronger Action on False Alarms

On Sept. 19, after a lengthy discussion at the Dyersburg, TN, police safety committee meeting , the Dyersburg Police Department decided to begin sending out letters to business owners and homeowners who repeatedly cause false alarms.

The letter asks if the homeowner or employees of a business have been properly trained in working with the alarm system they use and if the alarm unit is in proper working order. If the alarm user is unable to submit a certification that the letter asks, the DPD will respond to any alert coming from that alarm system “at the lowest level of police service it provides.”

The city of Dyersburg already has a false alarm ordinance in which an alarm user will be charged $25 for each additional false alarm after three false alarms.

More research is currently being looked over about how to strengthen the city ordinance.

Key West, FL, City Begins False Alarm Ordinance

The Key West, FL, Police Department has established an ordinance to help prevent false alarms in homes and businesses in the community.

According to the ordinance, alarm owners must register their system for $50. If the alarm owner has no false alarms for a year, the annual registration renewal is free.

Once the alarm system is registered, there will be no penalty for up to two false alarms a year, but after that, fees start at $150 for three false alarms and rise up to $600 for 10 or more false alarms in a year. If an unregistered system causes a false alarm, then the owner will be fined $200 for each instance.

Jackson, TN, Registration Begins for Alarm Permits

Approval of Jackson’s false-alarm ordinance earlier this month now allows local residents and businesses to sign up for an alarm permit.

On Sept. 4, the date of the ordinance’s passage, a six-month period began in which alarm users can register for the permit online for free . After six months, March 5, an alarm user will face a $25 charge for not registering.

A $25 fine will be charged for the third and subsequent false alarm calls in a permit year. In place of paying for the third false alarm, people may choose to attend the Alarm User Awareness Class.

Cornelius, NC, City Weighs Options on False Alarm Issue

Police Chief Bence Hoyle addressed the Cornelius, NC, town board on Sept. 17 presenting three options to tackle the issue of false alarms.

Option One: Educate residents on the cost of false alarms in hope that the public will take measures to prevent false alarms themselves.
Option Two: Enact an ordinance which would make home and business owners implement fines for false alarms, hopefully making home and business owners more responsible for their systems.
Option Three: Implement an alarm management service paired with ordinances already being enacted in surrounding communities. With this option, alarm calls would be handled entirely by a private company. This is the option recommended by Chief Hoyle.

Fines suggested by the police department start at $50 for the 3rd to 5th false alarm, $100 for the 6th and 7th occurrence, $250 for the 8th and 9th occurrence and $500 for over 10 false alarms. Registration will be $10 annually.

Pomona, CA, Increased Fee for False Alarms

City Council members of Pomona, CA, gave final approval for an ordinance designed to prevent false alarms at business or residential buildings.

The increase will go up to $75 for a third false alarm, $156 for a fourth, $206 for a fifth and $256 for a sixth false alarm.

This new ordinance will go into effect Oct. 10.

Hillsborough, NJ, False Alarm Fee Increases

The Township Committee in Hillsborough, NJ, approved an ordinance that increased the fine for false alarms from $25 to $100.

In this new ordinance, the owner of an alarm system will have to pay a fine of no less than $100 and as much as $500 for each false alarm after four violation-free false alarms.
Verbal warnings will be given after the second false alarm and written warnings will be given after the third false alarm.

Stamford, CT, Ordinance Passed Requiring Alarms in all Private Homes

City representatives have approved an ordinance requiring smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in all private residences of Stamford, CT.
This bold move was set in motion to prevent incidences such as the Christmas Day fire which killed three young sisters and their grandparents in the nearby town of Shippan. 

The ordinance brings Stamford in line with a new state law which requires fire detection devices in single dwellings and homes under renovation.
Currently the state statute prescribes fines only for noncompliant residences with three or more dwellings. 

Stamford Fire & Rescue and the volunteer fire companies have committed to helping homeowners come into compliance with the new law. Smoke alarms are available by request for Stamford residents at their local firehouses.

Even though Certified Fire Protection Specialist Daniel Gardiner fears that the law will not be effective unless it is enforced and violators are fined, the city of Stamford hopes that residents take advantage of the opportunity to update their homes with fire safety equipment.

Orlando, FL, False Alarm Fees Rise

On Sept. 5, a new proposal was leveraged that would change the Orlando, FL, alarm ordinance, making local residents and business owners pay more for false alarms.

The new changes are minor tweaks to an already developed ordinance that has been in the city for 16 years.

In the past, residents and businesses would get three false alarms for no charge and then start paying $50 for each false alarm throughout the year. The new change to the ordinance will give businesses only two free false alarms before charging for them.

Another element being changed is that the city will start charging a $15 permit fee for all new alarm installations.
The first reading for this ordinance will be held before the Orlando City Council at the Oct. 1 meeting.

Byron, GA, Stores Selling Alcohol may be required to Install Security Cameras

The Byron, GA, City Council is considering a new ordinance that would require businesses that sell alcohol to install security cameras inside the store.
The first draft of this proposal was heard on Sept. 3.

This ordinance requires shop owners to buy their own security camera which can be costly, but town officials don’t think the cost will be prohibitive.
A main reason for the requirement of security cameras are for the police responding to calls to the stores.
“It’s frustrating when you work off witness statements and witness testimonies, but when you  get a photograph of a person that’s committed a crime, that’s a bounty of information,” said Police Chief Wesley Cannon.

Andy Kim, owner of a liquor store in Byron, already has an eight camera security system which connects to his smart phone so he can have peace of mind watching his store 24/7 on his phone.
City council and police officials are working on some of the details of the ordinance including how many cameras will be required for businesses and where they should be in the store.