Security Systems News

AUG 2017

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Industry alarmed by Sandy Springs' alarm ordinance Your Complete High Volume Residential Sales Program PRE-PROGRAMMED SECURITY SYSTEMS • SALES TRAINING PROGRAM • SECURA SALES APP Brought to you by To learn more go to collections to a firm called CryWolf (Public Safety Cor- poration)," Loud explained. "Their service includes collect- ing the assessed fines. The cost to Sandy Springs is the same, whether the bill goes to the end users of the alarm system or the alarm company. But the alarm company's costs will increase. They will now have to bill their customers and establish a col- lection process, increasing the workload for their personnel." Loud and others in opposi- tion to the ordinance believe t h i s w i l l a c t u a l l y c a u s e a n increase in the amount of false dispatches. "Citizens will usually respond to citations from their local police or city municipality," he explained. "If a vendor or service pro- vider sends an assessment, they could very easily change monitoring companies and get additional false alarms through new providers. They can choose to never pay and continually change companies." He noted that this would result in more false dispatches as the end user would never be forced to change their behavior. Loud also pointed out that the court systems of Sandy Springs will have a lot more cases. "Either the alarm companies will be filing suit to collect monies from customers refus- ing to pay or the city will be pursuing alarm companies for nonpayment of fines they do not have the money to pay," Loud said. He continued, "You will like- ly see many alarm companies choosing to not do business with residents/businesses that must comply with this ordi- nance. In Sandy Springs, most alarm companies charge only $25 per month. While false alarm fees can cost hundreds of dollars, the accounts receiv- able process will likely make it financially impossible for fire/ alarm companies to take on such risk." He said that Sandy Springs could achieve greater reduc- tion in the false dispatches if they would enforce all of their current ordinance provisions, such as: - Follow the Enhanced Call Verification Georgia State law that went into effect in 2013. "The 911 operator could very easily ask for the two phone numbers the alarm compa- ny called prior to dispatch request," said Loud. - Do not allow dispatch on the subscribers that have not paid for previous fines—put them on a do not dispatch list. - Do not allow dispatch for subscribers that have had 10 false alarms in a permit year. - Activate the false alarm school the ordinance allows for, which will provide the training and prevention of future false alarms. "Another step Sandy Springs could pursue is a higher fee structure for excessive false alarms," said Loud. "This would force subscrib- ers to either fix their system, teach others to use it properly or they could choose to stop arming their system. All three of the options result in reduced dispatches." He continued, "While I cer- tainly see there are many ways to help unite with the City of Sandy Springs and help them achieve their ultimate goal of reducing false dispatches and wasting government recourses, I do not believe requiring the alarm companies to pay the fees is the answer." SSN Continued from page 1 "I do not believe requiring the alarm companies to pay the fees is the answer." —John Loud, LO u D s ecurity s ystems s EC u RI t Y s Y st EM s NEW s august 2017 Residential s ystems 25

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