Troublesome News About False Alarm Fines

By guest blogger The Monitoring Association

If you are not concerned about the situation in Sandy Springs, GA, this update should change that. The onerous ordinance in Sandy Springs does not allow for proper due process with respect to false alarm fines. If the ordinance is allowed to stand, alarm companies will be likely held financially responsible for false alarms generated by alarm users. One member was recently fined for the following occurrence:

  • The member company received a hold-up alarm from a large retailer just before 11:00pm, and received a burglary signal 23 seconds after the hold-up alarm.
  • The monitoring operator informed the Sandy Springs dispatcher that she was dispatching on a hold-up alarm from the vault, and indicated that a burglar alarm from the same area was also received following the hold-up.
  • The dispatcher asked the operator if she had attempted to call a key-holder. The operator correctly explained that she would not call the premise or key-holders prior to dispatch on a hold-up alarm.
  • The dispatcher professionally completed the call and verified that an officer would be dispatched.
  • Within 7 days, the member company received notice that it had been fined $500 for ‘failure to verify” on an alarm dispatch.
  • The member company completed and submitted the appeal form found on the Sandy Springs website within the required 10-day window, arguing that no verification actions should be taken prior to a hold-up alarm. They submitted the appropriate alarm logs as well as phone call recordings.
  • The appeal was summarily dismissed without explanation. The member company is confident the customer will refuse any attempt on the company’s part to pass along this fine.

This is an actual example of how the Sandy Springs ordinance is procedurally flawed, particularly with respect to the constitutionally protected due process. If this ordinance is not overturned, such onerous regulation will spread.

The public good requires a solution for false alarms that keeps the vital public safety tool of alarms and response available and affordable. Learn more about the Monitoring Association’s official position on false alarms, and the current effort to reduce them.