Georgia Bans Fines Against Alarm Companies for False AlarmsPosted By Michael Goris
The State of Georgia House and Senate have both approved State House Bill 465. This bans cities, counties, and other municipalities from imposing fines against alarm monitoring providers for false alarms that aren't their fault. Governor Brian Kemp will likely sign the bill later this month.
If you have been following the ongoing saga in Georgia, then you are aware that false alarms have been a hot button issue in the state for the past few years. It started in 2017, when the city of Sandy Springs, GA revised its false alarm ordinance to impose fines against alarm monitoring companies for false alarms caused by end-users. The ordinance was unsuccessfully challenged in 2020, and other jurisdictions like Lawrenceville, GA sought to develop their own laws. But with this latest development, that will all soon come to an end.
Alarm industry professionals and experts have been working tirelessly to revise the policy in Sandy Springs so that false alarm fines are imposed against end-users as the responsible party. This is opposed to fining monitoring providers like Alarm Grid, who usually do everything in their power to train and empower end-users so that they operate their security systems responsibly, and prevent false alarms from occurring in the first place. The city of Sandy Springs, GA originally enacted its false alarm ordinance in 2012, with fines being imposed against end-users. It wasn't until 2017 when the ordinance was revised to levy fines against monitoring companies. This most recent decision by the Georgia General Assembly represents a major victory for alarm providers throughout the United States.
John Loud, the President and Founder of LOUD Security in Georgia and a Vice President of the Electronic Security Association (ESA) said of the decision, "The big celebration for us is, not only did we prevent the spread of Sandy Springs’ ordinance throughout Georgia but for all of us across the nation to realize the example of what Sandy Springs was trying to do."
Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC) Executive Stan Martin added in a statement, "Ordinances similar to those adopted by Sandy Springs do little to change user behavior, deny the user the right to confront their accuser and access to due process, and fines an innocent party for the actions of another... There has never been any evidence that fining alarm companies was any more effective than the model alarm ordinance that is widely utilized nationally and endorsed by the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police."
The law banning fines against monitoring companies for false alarms caused by end-users will take effect after Georgia Govern Brian Kemp signs Georgia State House Bill 465 into law. This will most likely occur later this month. Georgia will not become the first state to ban fines against alarm companies for false alarms caused by end-users. Already, the states of Tennessee and Iowa have passed similar laws to protect monitoring companies against fines for false alarms that are not their fault, and in most cases, have done everything within their power to prevent in the first place.
As a proud alarm monitoring service provider for thousands of end-users who receive central station coverage throughout the United States and Canada, preventing false alarms is always a top priority of ours at Alarm Grid. We work very hard to teach, train, and provide helpful resources for all of our monitored customers so that they can operate their alarm systems responsibly and prevent false alarms from occurring. False alarms represent a waste of resources for emergency responders everywhere, and we do whatever we can to limit their occurrences so that police forces and fire departments can operate as efficiently as possible. We strongly advise that all security system users with central station coverage, whether you receive monitoring service through Alarm Grid or through another company, review these important tips to prevent false alarms. It is our responsibility and duty as an alarm monitoring provider to pass this information to all our monitored customers. And it is your responsibility as security system users to do your part to prevent false alarms. Together, we can reduce the occurrence of false security system alarms and help improve the efficiency and performance of the dedicated first responders who we all depend upon.
If you are an Alarm Grid monitored customer with any questions about false alarm prevention and what you can do, or if you are curious about signing-up for an alarm monitoring plan with us, then please do not hesitate to email our team at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will provide you with all the resources you need so that you not only receive the very best alarm monitoring service for your needs but also do not contribute to the serious problem of false system alarms. We're here to answer your emails from 9am to 8pm ET M-F, so please keep that in mind when you contact us. As always, we look forward to hearing from you!