Sandy Springs will consider changing alarm ordinance

alarm system

alarm system

Folks in Sandy Springs might not have to worry about making sure their alarm systems are registered or about getting a fine.

That burden will fall on alarm companies if Sandy Springs opts to change an ordinance introduced in 2012.

Sandy Springs spokeswoman Sharon Kraun says the city is exploring changes to its “False Alarm” ordinance and, if approved, the changes would shift the responsibility of home alarm registration from the individual homeowner to the alarm companies that service those homes. Sandy Springs’ city council was briefed on those proposed changes during a work session on Tuesday.

The ordinance also enforces existing state law regarding enhanced verification and requires additional verification for video-monitored burglar alarms. Alarm companies who fail to comply will have to pay a fine.

Sandy Springs approved its original alarm ordinance in 2012. In addition to a fine system for false alarms, residents pay a $100 fine for failure to register any property alarm systems.

While the number of false alarms has decreased since the ordinance began, police continue to respond to more than 10,000 false alarm calls each year, Kraun said. She adds that an estimated 19 percent of false alarms were from unregistered users in 2016.

“There is a real cost associated with excessive false alarms in terms of personnel time and resources,” Sandy Springs Police Chief Ken DeSimone said in a statement. “Currently, the homeowner bears 100 percent of the responsibility related to registration and maintenance. ... With the increased accountability, public safety resources can be spent on serving the community.”

Sandy Springs will host information sessions for alarm companies to help educate them on adopted changes. A roll-out period was also suggested, providing companies with several months to ensure all customers were properly registered.

The proposed changes will come before the city council for approval during its May 16 meeting.

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