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False Alarm Update: British Cut False Alarms in Half During Past 10 Years


As alarm companies and cities toil with the false alarm issue in the States, authorities in Great Britain say they have cut false burglar alarms by more than 50 percent since 1994, including a 12-percent drop in the past year. Police data in England, Wales and Northern Island registered 529,829 “false alerts” — as false alarms are sometimes called in Britain — in 2003 compared to 1.1 million in 1994.

Britain has a national standard to deal with false alarms. Called DD243 and passed on July 1, 2002, it requires that two or more detectors have to go off at a residence or business for police to respond.

In other false alarm news:

SHELTON, Conn.:The city 10 miles west of New Haven has reduced the number of false burglar and fire alarms residents and businesses are allowed within a year and added a $100 fine for each alarm that exceeds the limit.

The amended alarm ordinance passed by the city’s Board of Alderman on April 8 cuts the allowed false alarms in a calendar year in half to two, while adding a $100 fine for the third and each subsequent false alarm, according to the Connecticut Post. A fifth false alarm would resort in a mandatory meeting with the city’s police chief or fire marshal.

In addition, it will now be against the law for an audible alarm to sound for longer than 10 minutes. “We want to hold people accountable for false alarms. It could be a safety issue,” Alderman John Pap told the Post.

SALISBURY, Md.: The city council in the Maryland city just south of the Delaware border repealed the city old alarm ordinance April 13 and replaced it with one more stringent on false alarms.

The new law is directed mostly at alarms on commercial properties, where the alarm customer would be charged $50 for a third false alarm within a year. The fee would go up incrementally to $1,000 for the 14th false alarm offense, according to The Daily Times.

Also, alarm companies will now have to pay a one-time license fee of $50 that will have to be renewed each year at no cost.

GRAPEVINE, Texas: The police department in the community on the border of Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport has installed software it says will more accurately track false alarms.

The Grapevine Police was authorized in a recent unanimous vote by the city’s council to invest $24,800 in the Cry Wolf False Alarm Management System manufactured by AOT Public Safety Corp., according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

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