Georgia Governor Brian P. Kemp has signed a bill that bans counties or municipal corporations from fining alarm companies for false alarms generated by a customer and through no fault of the alarm system’s contractor.
“We appreciate the support of Governor Kemp and lawmakers in supporting our industry and the millions of citizens and businesses we protect,” said John Loud, Vice President of Electronic Security Association (ESA) and President of LOUD Security Systems. “Lawmakers recognized that our industry has worked diligently with law enforcement leaders to develop and implement a Model Alarm Ordinance that significantly reduces the demand on police resources by penalizing individuals or businesses that cause false alarms primarily through user error.”
The introduction of the legislation follows a bitter three-year fight after the City of Sandy Springs passed a punitive ordinance that fined alarm companies. The city’s success in defending the legislation in court caused the legislature to act. Only one other Georgia city, Brookhaven, followed Sandy Springs’ lead.
A number of other states have passed bills similar to the Georgia bill in recent years including California, Florida, New Jersey, Texas, Tennessee and Iowa.
“The model ordinance, which fines alarm users, obtains an average 60% reduction in false dispatches and impacts those causing most of the problems. In fact, 85% of alarm systems generate no calls to the police in any given year,” Said Stan Martin, Executive Director of the Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC).
Under the law companies are responsible for false alarms they cause due to faulty equipment or installation or failure to use a mandated system requiring two calls to an alarm site before notifying police.
“Common sense prevailed,” said Loud. “Our industry stands ready to work with any community that wishes to reduce unnecessary dispatches with a proven model and experts ready to assist.”