Appleton, Wisc., to Require Permit for Alarm Dealers

City updates ordinance with permit, enhanced call verification, stiffer fines


Appleton, Wisc., is looking to curb false alarms by turning toward a more harsh fine system. The city, which is considering an ordinance at this point, needs only to get the final stamp by the city council to enact a new ordinance that would create false alarm fines that start at $75 and which would rise to $600.

The proposed ordinance, which is expected to pass without issue, also adopts enhanced call verification, an industry-championed proposal that requires two calls to verify or deny an alarm signal. Alarm installing companies will be required to get an annual city permit to do business; the permit costs $35.

The ordinance also creates a non-response possibility for repeat false alarms from a single home or business. The town currently does not charge fines for the first two alarms, and then starts the fines with the third false alarm at $25, which then rise to a maximum fine of $300.