Suffolk, Va., updates alarm fees for dealers, system owners

According to a report in the Suffolk News-Herald, the city council of Suffolk, Va., is currently implementing an alarm permit fee and false alarm fine system that will affect both the local dealers of security alarm systems as well as the system owners themselves.

Starting in June 2009, the city will be charging a $25 alarm permit fee to system owners, and alarm system installing companies will need to pay an annual $100 permit fee to do business in the city.

The city is also set to implement fines for repeat false alarm offenders. System owners get one "freebie" false alarm. The second false alarm would be fined $25, the third is at $50, and the fourth false alarm -- and all successive alarms -- are fined at $100.

The ordinance allows registered alarm owners one false burglary alarm without a charge. After that warning, the second false alarm can result in a $25 fee; the third, $50; and the fourth or subsequent, $100. For a false robbery or panic alarm, the first gets a warning; the second, $50; the third, $100; and the fourth or subsequent, $200. For those who aren’t registered, every occurrence of a false alarm can cost $100.

The city also has a separate fee structure for robbery/panic alarms. The second false alarm is fined $50, the progressing to $100 for the third false alarm, and $200 for all successive false alarms. The ordinance requires registration of these alarms, and for systems not registered with the city, each false alarm will be billed $100.

According to the Suffolk News-Herald, the false alarm fines do not apply to fire and medical alarm systems.