Recently an article crossed my
desk discussing a new ordinance in
a nearby city, Dunwoody, GA that
will require businesses to pay a $25
one-time alarm registration fee and
both businesses and homeowners
will be given a 2 time false alarm
waiver before being charged a $50 fee per false alarm.
The city states it responded to over 4,000 false alarms
last year for a city of approx. 46,000 residents.
False alarm ordinances are not new. Over the last
decade police agencies and central monitoring stations
have been working together to reduce false alarms and
create effective solutions to keep residents safe and city
budgets in control. False alarms are a serious waste to
city resources and take police away from real
Crime Fighters of Atlanta has teamed up with
Monitronics security to provide top of the line security
monitoring from a central station that is the leader in
false alarm reduction through various advocacy
and initiative programs. However, all alarm monitoring
stations are not created equal.
Part of the article I was reading regarding the new
Dunwoody ordinance included comments from
residents. Some residents debate that the fault lies with
the central station's response practices stating that the
fault lies with the central operator calling the police
agency into action.
While, I can't speak for all central stations, I do
know the actions ours takes to reduce false alarms such as
delay dialer panels and advanced contact notifications
tactics and 24-hour equipment failure monitoring do help
prevent unnecessary false alarms.
I've been an alarm installing dealer over the last six years.
During this time, I have seen many false alarm situations
where the fault lies with the alarm users. Many people
simply forget their passcode or fail to even answer their
phone when the alarm has been trigged. I've also heard
reports from clients who have left other monitoring
companies after dealing with false alarm situations
where the battery was in fault or the wiring was bad
causing the alarm system to falsely trigger.
There seems to be many reasons why a false alarm can
occur, but one thing that stands true is that false alarms
cause cities and police departments budget woes, strains
their workforce, and makes them irritated and mad. Some
cities like Dunwoody choose to create ordinances that
require alarm registration and fees while others have
police departments that won't respond to alarm calls and
require alarm companies to hire armed guards passing
the fees along to homeowners and businesses. In either
case the homeowner and business owner end up paying
additional fees to protect their location.
Here in Atlanta an alarm system is part of a homes bills.
Most homeowners will not go without one and feel that
they are an important part of their safety. What are you
thoughts on false fees and police responses to alarm
systems? Crime Fighters of Atlanta is interested in
hearing your comments and happy to answer any
questions. Feel free to comment through the post or
directly to Shana@cfasecurity.com