Revised Ordinances, Area Codes to Ring in New Year


An area code overlay in Southern California is one of
several changes in laws and communications going into
effect as of Jan. 1 that stand to affect alarm companies
and the customers they serve. Many localities that passed
changes to their alarm ordinances months ago will have
those changes go into play as the clock strikes midnight to
ring in the new year. That makes the start of the new year
a good time for dealers and integrators to contact their
state or local authorities to review any possible changes
to law that stand to have a bearing on them.

Among the changes to law and telecommunications that
go into effect on Jan. 1:

  • The first stages of an overlay involving the Los
    -area’s 310 area code will begin on Jan. 1.

    California’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved last summer an area code overlay where a new 424 area code will overlap the 310 area code, and callers in the area will have to always dial a “1” and the area code before dialing out, even for local calls.

    Beginning with the start of the year, callers not dialing all 11 digits will hear a reminder that they need to do so. On Aug. 26, the area code overlay will go into full effect.

    Alarm companies in the area should make an effort to make sure that their customers’ alarm panels are communicating correctly.

  • An alarm ordinance that includes permits and raises false alarm fines passed last June becomes law in Little Rock, Ark., on Jan. 1.

    Alarm owners will be required to have a free permit, to be given out by an alarm company upon service or installation.

    In addition, while the first three false alarm calls in a calendar year remain “free,” the maximum charge for each false alarm after a sixth goes up from $96 to $250 – though the fine will be cut in half if the alarm owner calls police and reports an alarm as false before officers arrive.

  • As of New Year’s Day, alarm customers in Durham, N.C., will be emptying their wallets if they commit more than two false alarms within a year.

    False alarm fines in Durham will now range from $100 for a third false alarm within a year to $300 for a 10th incident.

  • Pittsburgh is increasing the fines for false alarms and lowering the number of “free” false calls allowed within a year as of Jan. 1.

    The number of “free” false alarms within a year without a fine is reduced from three to two. Fines – previously $15 for each residential false alarm and $50 for a commercial false alarm – will now be the same for both commercial and residential and rise from $50 for a third false alarm to $500 for a ninth.

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