Baltimore suburb sees decrease in false alarms

Audit shows 'top offending' sites are government facilities

"We're constantly having meetings and coordinating with the Howard County Police Department," O'Neill said. "Principals in the school - we involve them, and they talk to their staff."

For the past couple of years, school alarms have been serviced yearly to help with the problem, O'Neill said.

"We've made a lot of improvements on that, in terms of maintenance and scheduling," he said.

Police Department recommendations included creating a registration form specifically for county buildings and schools that lists three people who would respond if an alarm goes off; designating a person to receive false-alarm notices; and breaking down how much the fines would have cost if the buildings weren't exempt.

The department also suggested tracking which agencies and schools are actively working to reduce false alarms.