The City of Sandy Springs, a suburb of metro Atlanta, passed an ordinance that became effective as of Sept. 1, 2017, which will force alarm companies to pay false alarm fees and fines, regardless of reason and without establishing culpability.
Under the new ordinance, alarm companies installing and servicing alarm systems are required to register the system with the city and pay the following fines for false alarms:
- First offense: $25.00
- Second and third offenses: $250.00
- All subsequent offenses: $500.00
In addition to these quickly escalating fines, the new ordinance will impose financial penalties on alarm companies for failing to update a subscriber’s contact information, even when the subscriber has failed to provide the information in a timely manner. This further punishes alarm companies for an action over which they have no control, reported The Monitoring Association (TMA) in a press release.
The Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC) and the Georgia Electronic and Life Safety and Systems Association (GELSSA) have been working tirelessly on this issue. However, despite numerous efforts by experts in false alarm reduction to assist Sandy Springs in adopting a more effective solution, the city chose to proceed with an approach that is detrimental to both its citizens and our industry, reported TMA.
Sandy Springs officials claim to have interest from more than a dozen other jurisdictions in Georgia exploring the adoption of similar ordinances. Meanwhile, Arizona, Colorado and Tennessee are considering similar laws that will hold alarm companies financially responsible for any false alarm.
TMA stated, “We must address the ordinance in Sandy Springs with legal intervention to ensure alarm companies not only in Georgia, but throughout the country, are not unfairly penalized and punished for false alarms. This is a crucial, but costly, initiative and TMA, on behalf of SIAC, is requesting financial support from our members.”
TMA provided the following link for those who wish to donate: Donate now.
To see the resolution, visit www.sandyspringsga.gov/Home/ShowDocument?id=14326.
To see the ordinance, visit www.sandyspringsga.gov/Home/ShowDocument?id=14526.