According to the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA) False Alarm Network, Palm Beach County, Fla., has passed an ordinance in which the county bills alarm companies directly for higher permit fees based on the company’s false alarm rate. The new law will take effect in March. As cited in the January 2000 issue of Security Sales, the Alarm Association of Florida (AAF) vigorously fought the proposed ordinance, but the Palm Beach County Commission passed the new law on Dec. 21, 1999. In the ordinance, dealers will pay an initial annual permit fee for their customers of $24 per alarm system; however, the renewal fee charge is based on the number of false alarms the company reports to the sheriff.

“Some of the information presented by the sheriff’s office was misleading, and while the commissioners listened to the concerns of the industry during the public hearing, they ultimately voted against the public good, not the security industry,” says Roy Pollack, president of AAF. Dealers report that they will be forced to pass the higher permit costs on to their customers. AAF is reviewing its options, which include legal action. For more information, contact Pollack at [email protected] or call AAF at (954) 748-7779. Meanwhile, the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office is listing the false alarm rate of every alarm company doing business in the county on its Web site ( The listing includes a separate chart of the worst offenders.

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