South Fulton proposed false alarm law aims to help cops, fine offenders

Brookhaven is the only other city in metro Atlanta who, like Sandy Springs, fines alarm companies, not residents, for false alarms. Photo: Contributed, Cox Media File

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Brookhaven is the only other city in metro Atlanta who, like Sandy Springs, fines alarm companies, not residents, for false alarms. Photo: Contributed, Cox Media File

South Fulton leaders say false alarms are a burden to police, so the city wants to punish those who repeatedly take officers away from actual emergencies.

The South Fulton City Council on Tuesday night is set to consider a false alarm ordinance making it so trouble-making alarm owners would be at risk of having police not respond to their home or business burglar alarms.


This comes about six months after similarly sized Sandy Springs enacted what experts say is the strictest false alarm ordinance in the state. Sandy Springs police will not respond to home and business burglary alarms without video, audio or in-person verification that a crime is occurring. They also heavily fine the companies sending false alarms.

South Fulton isn’t planning to go that far. Under the proposed law, fines would range from $100 for the third false alarm, up to $500 for the seventh and beyond. Plus, anyone with 10 or more false alarms in a year won’t get any more police response to burglary alarms.


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Sandy Springs estimated it was spending $750,000 a year in manhours and equipment on false calls. Ken DeSimone, police chief for the north Fulton city, said last year they got more than 8,000 alarm calls, 99% of which were false alarms. But industry representatives say that the city’s law is too harsh on alarm companies.

South Fulton will be considering their false alarm ordinance at 7 p.m. Tuesday inside the South Fulton Service Center, 5600 Stonewall Tell Road.


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