"False Alarms" Could Prove Costly
City ordnance charges businesses and residents who set off more than two false alarms per year.
Most everyone who’s come in contact with a home or business alarm system has a story about accidentally setting it off. Sometimes a code is forgotten, or punched in wrong, and the simple mistake soon erupts with an ear drum shattering alarm and friendly Santa Clarita deputies at the front door. Oops.
Well, that oops could cost you money. The city of Santa Clarita has an ordnance that allows for the City to charge individuals or businesses that accidentally set of their alarm systems more than twice in the span of a calendar year.
The exact fine varies, because the City estimates how much money that particular law enforcement response cost.
The fine is levied to try and provide an incentive for those with alarms to teach their families or employees how to properly use the alarm system. The City feels this is important because every time emergency personnel respond to a false alarm, it makes them unavailable to answer other, potentially more serious calls. Currently, the Sheriff’s respond to nearly 8,000 false alarms every year.
But there is help out there. The Santa Clarita Sheriff’s station, teamed with the city of Santa Clarita, has a brochure that can act as a guide if a false alarm is accidentally set off. The brochure also explains the city ordinance in detail as well as what dictates a false alarm.
The Sheriff’s department says that the following steps should be taken if a false alarm is accidentally set off:
- Don’t panic. Enter your disarm code to reset your system.
- Wait for your alarm company to call. Usually, the alarm companies will ask for a verbal password and/or an ID number.
- Don’t leave your home or business until you have talked with the alarm monitoring station. If they don’t call you, call them to cancel the dispatch.
- Never call 911 to cancel an alarm. You must call your alarm company.
To help in this case, make sure that all of your employees or family members have the correct verbal pass code to cancel the alarm. The alarm company will not cancel a dispatch without it. Also, make sure that the alarm company’s telephone number is in a place where employees or family members can find it.
Another important tip is to stay in contact with you alarm company regularly. There, you can set who receives a call if the alarm is set off.