Burgeoning Suburb Increases False Alarm Rate in Ohio

In Mason, Ohio, a full-time officer was assigned to respond to the suburb’s growing number of false alarms. Government officials in the county decided that action needed to be taken. No longer are residents charged a flat rate of $50 for a false alarm, instead a graduated fee structure has been instituted. Just five false alarms during a six-month period can cost an alarm owner as much as $500.

Officials stress that the goal of the fines for the false alarms is not to just collect money, but for alarm owners to become aware that their system may be malfunctioning, and to find a solution so that everyone can benefit. In 1993, Mason had 594 false alarms, but in 1999 the false alarm rate nearly doubled, with police responding to 1,128 false alarms. This is partially due to the explosion of housing development throughout a 10-year time period.

Businesses are still the most common offenders, but that is starting to change as homeowners start to incur more false alarms. Another reason the false alarm rate has exploded in Mason is due to the fact that the price of an alarm system has steadily declined in the past decade. Initially, a homeowner could expect to pay around $1,500 for a system, but now the price has dropped in some instances to less than half of that.

The Mason Police Department acknowledges that the false alarm rate will never be perfect, but that it will continue to strive for a zero false alarm rate.

Source: NBFAA False Alarm Network

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