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TMA Seeks Donations to SIAC Legal Fund to Fight Onerous False Alarm Ordinances

The Monitoring Association cites pending legal action in Sandy Springs, Ga., and other efforts around the nation to beat back ordinances that levy fines against alarm companies.

VIENNA, Va. — The City of Sandy Springs, Ga., a suburb of Atlanta, recently passed an ordinance that will force alarm companies to pay false alarm fees and fines, regardless of reason and without establishing culpability, according to The Monitoring Association (TMA, formerly CSAA).

Under the new ordinance, which became law Sept. 1, installing security contractors that install and service alarm systems are required to register the system with the city and pay the following fines for false alarms: first offense, $25; second and third offenses, $250; all subsequent offense, $500.

In addition to the escalating fines, the new ordinance will impose financial penalties on alarm companies for failing to update a subscriber’s contact information, even when the subscriber has failed to provide the information in a timely manner. This further punishes alarm companies for an action over which they have no control, TMA states in an email correspondence to its member companies.

Go here to view the ordinance and here to view the resolution establishing fines for violations.

Despite ongoing efforts by the Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC) and the Georgia Electronic and Life Safety and Systems Association (GELSSA) to assist Sandy Springs in adopting a more effective solution, the city chose to proceed with an approach that is detrimental to both its citizens and the alarm industry, TMA writes in the letter.

The security industry “must address the ordinance in Sandy Springs with legal intervention to ensure alarm companies not only in Georgia, but throughout the country, are not unfairly penalized and punished for false alarms,” TMA writes.

Sandy Springs officials claim to have interest from more than a dozen other jurisdictions in Georgia that are exploring the adoption of similar ordinances. Meanwhile, Arizona, Colorado and Tennessee are considering similar laws that will hold alarm companies financially responsible for any false alarm.

With costly legal intervention expected in Sandy Springs, among other efforts led by SIAC to mitigate onerous alarm ordinances in other parts of the country, TMA is requesting financial support from its member companies. Stakeholders throughout the security industry are also asked to consider donating to SIAC to fund these initiatives.

“TMA, on behalf of SIAC, is seeking your financial support to fund legal proceedings against the City of Sandy Springs and other communities where similar ordinances may be considered,” TMA writes. “Despite numerous efforts, Sandy Springs officials have said they will not back down and reverse this ordinance. If ignored, ordinances like this can become dangerous precedents that quickly take hold in other jurisdictions around the country, putting your customers and your business at risk.”

For more information on how to donate, go here.

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One response to “TMA Seeks Donations to SIAC Legal Fund to Fight Onerous False Alarm Ordinances”

  1. David Arsenault, CSPM says:

    TMA and SIAC are taking fighting a battle that they will not win. With other GA jurisdictions and now other States considering adopting similar ordinances, this trend will rapidly grow much larger than donations will be able to fund.
    The alarm industry continues to take a reactive approach to false alarms instead of using their efforts and resources to prevent false alarm events from occurring. It stands to reason that if false alarms weren’t a growing nuisance on municipalities, they wouldn’t feel the need to hold alarm companies responsible.

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