South Lake Tahoe, Calif., is another small town facing the growing challenges of false alarm responses. In 2005, the community enacted an ordinance that was designed to cut back on the number of false alarms; that ordinance, which was passed in April, fined alarm system owners $50 for each false alarms following the system's third annual false call.
The ordinance, which has now been in effect for some time, also will require that alarm systems be registered -- for a nominal cost of $10.
Owners of alarm systems that do not have a permit on file will be fined $250 if their system submits an alarm call to the police. The community has added a new software system to keep track of these permits, and it is expected that the fines will now begin to be levied.