Plagued by 55 False Alarms, Penn. Town Enacts Ordinance

Nanticoke, Penn., has adopted a new ordinance that fines for false alarms, according to a report in the Times Leader newspaper.

On Wednesday, the Nanticoke council members voted to start fining property owners for false burglar alarms; the fines start at $10 and rise to a maximum of $50 on the fourth false alarm. Those rates make them very inexpensive compared to many towns, where costs start at $50 or more and can climb into the hundreds.

According to police, the move is going to help free them up to respond to real emergencies, but false alarms are hardly a major problem. The town dealt with only 57 alarms between Summer 2006 and Summer 2007. Of those, 55 were false. That rate puts police response at less than five false alarms per month, or a little more than one per week.

The city already had in place a $125 permit fee for alarm systems.