Sandy Springs False Alarm Ordinance Revision Defines ‘Verified’

The Sandy Springs, Ga., City Council voted unanimously to update the definition of “verified” to mean visual or audible confirmation of an attempted or actual crime, fire or other emergency situation through three ways.

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. — The Sandy Springs City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to amend the city’s false alarm ordinance to update the definition of “verified.”

The amended ordinance now defines verified to mean visual or audible confirmation of an attempted or actual crime, fire or other emergency situation at the alarm site through either of three ways:

  • Confirmation by the alarm user at the alarm site or via self-monitored audio/visual equipment;
  • Confirmation by a private security guard responder at the alarm site;
  • Audible and/or visual evidence provided by a monitored alarm system, provided that such evidence shall be made available to the emergency communications center prior to dispatch.

The change in definition, effective June 19, moves the City to a model of full, confirmed verified response through audio, video or in-person verification, according to the police department.

Other changes to the ordinance require alarm companies to notify an alarm user when the user’s system has been registered and to provide them a permit number. Alarm companies are also required to copy the City on notifications to alarm users when service is suspended for an alarm company’s failure to meet the requirements of the ordinance.

These latest amendment comes after the City Council in May approved changes to the fee structure and appeal process for false alarms in response to feedback from alarm companies.

Under the changes to the ordinance, the fine for the first false alarm remains at $25 for the alarm company. The second false alarm fine was reduced from $250 to $150, and the fine for the third false alarm remains at $250. A $500 fine for a fourth offense was eliminated under the amendment.

Also, when an alarm company has its permit suspended for noncompliance with the ordinance it must provide written notice to its contracting alarm users, notifying them the alarm company is no longer entitled to request public safety department response to activated intrusion alarms.

Failure to notify its customers can result in a suspension of the alarm company’s permit for up to three months, following the alarm company coming into full compliance with the provisions of the ordinance.

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About the Author


Although Bosch’s name is quite familiar to those in the security industry, his previous experience has been in daily newspaper journalism. Prior to joining SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in 2006, he spent 15 years with the Los Angeles Times, where he performed a wide assortment of editorial responsibilities, including feature and metro department assignments as well as content producing for Bosch is a graduate of California State University, Fresno with a degree in Mass Communication & Journalism. In 2007, he successfully completed the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association’s National Training School coursework to become a Certified Level I Alarm Technician.

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