Eight security companies pay fines for false alarms to Sandy Springs

Security companies are beginning to pay fines for false alarms to Sandy Springs, removing themselves from the city's list of revoked registrations.

Credit: Robert F. Bukaty

Credit: Robert F. Bukaty

Security companies are beginning to pay fines for false alarms to Sandy Springs, removing themselves from the city's list of revoked registrations.

After Sandy Springs announced earlier this week that its police would no longer answer intrusion calls from 39 security companies that were at least 90 days past due on fines they owed the city, eight of the companies are now in compliance with the city’s ordinance.

Comcast/Xfinity, Callaway, Protection One, Phoenix Systems, Stanley Security Solutions, AFA Protective Systems, Owen Security Solutions and Sunbelt Technology paid fines for false alarms this week and have been removed from the city’s list of revoked registrations.

Sandy Springs said that:

- Phoenix Systems paid $1,900

- Stanley Security Solutions paid $525

- AFA Protective Systems paid $2,575

- Owen Security Solutions paid $2,600

- Sunbelt Technology paid $500.

The city did not immediately have payment information for Comcast/Xfinity, Callaway or Protection One.

BACKGROUND | Sandy Springs will not answer calls from dozens of alarm companies

MORE | Sandy Springs revokes registration of 39 alarm companies

MORE | On false alarms, most metro Atlanta cities aren't like Sandy Springs

A spokesperson for Xfinity, Alex Horwitz, said he was “not at liberty” to comment on how much the company paid in fines, or why the company didn’t pay the fines within 90 days.

“(It’s) important also for our customers to know that they will continue to be supported throughout this,” Horwitz said.

Protection One is part of ADT. It’s spokesperson, Don Young, said that the Sandy Springs ordinance will “do little” to modify customer’s behaviors and can “have a detrimental impact” on public safety.

“Studies have shown that fining the alarm company by default does not have an impact on reducing false alarms. Customer education and other means show greater impact,” Young said. “... ADT welcomes the opportunity to work with Sandy Springs to develop a better, more effective way to tackle the issue of excessive false alarms.”

Sandy Springs passed an ordinance last year that made alarm companies — not the residents — liable for repeat offenses of false alarms. Sandy Springs began to fine companies for those false alarms in the fall and made the decision earlier this week to revoke the registration of dozens of companies that hadn’t paid fines after 90 days.

The city made it clear that police would not respond to burglar alarm calls from homes that use the revoked companies. The city did say that it would still respond to fire alarms, duress calls, panic buttons and direct calls to 911.

In March, alarm companies filed a federal lawsuit against the city, claiming the ordinance was unconstitutional.

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