False Alarm Update: St. Louis, Mesa, Durham, Martin County

A new alarm ordinance establishing fines for excessive false security system alarms is now in effect in St. Louis. The ordinance includes a 30-day suspension of alarm service for a residence or business that commits four or more false alarms within a calendar year.

St. Louis had previously considered a verified response policy before settling on a system of fines and the 30- day suspension. Enforcement of the new ordinance began June 1 according to KSDK-TV.

After a “free” first false alarm, owners of alarm systems will be fined $25 for a second offense and $50 for each offense in a calendar year after that. A home or business with a fourth false alarm will see its alarm service suspended for 30 days. “They’ll have the alarm system itself physically, but they won’t have the monitoring capacity and the police won’t respond,” St. Louis Public Safety Director Sam Simon told KSDK.

The ordinance also enacts a $25 annual registration fee for residential alarm owners. Commercial alarm owners will be charged $50 per year. Alarm companies are responsible for collecting the fines.

“To be quite honest it’s a burden,” Michael Hackett, president and CEO of St Louis’ Hackett Security, told KSDK. “There are additional costs that are going to be involved for alarm companies.”

In other false alarm news …
MESA, Ariz.: The city council in the suburb of Phoenix say false alarms will no longer be free.
The Mesa City Council voted 4-1 on June 20 to fine residential alarm customers for any false alarm according to the East Valley Tribune.
Residents will be fined $50 for a first false alarm. However, that first fine will be waived if the alarm owner attends a free alarm awareness class.
From there, the fine will go up $50 for each subsequent false alarm within a calendar and will not be waived. The highest fine will be $400 for the seventh false alarm and each one after.
The new fines take effect on July 19.

DURHAM, N.C.: The city council in Durham is continuing to debate a substantial increase in false alarm fines.
Currently, Durham allows one “free” false alarm before assessing a $100 fee for false fire alarms and $48 for false police responses. The latest proposal before the council would allow a second false alarm without a fine, but assess a $100 to $350 fine for each false alarm thereafter.
It is unclear when the council will make a final vote on a new false alarm ordinance.

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla.: The sheriff of the Florida county that includes the city of Stuart wants the county to charge for all false alarms.
The Palm Beach Post says Martin County Sheriff officials have made a proposal to the Martin County Commission where anyone in an unincorporated area with an alarm would pay an annual $25 registration fee and be charged a $25 to $400 fine for each false alarm.
The commission says it will hold public hearings before deciding whether to pass the ordinance.


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