Updated Alarm Ordinance in Hayward, Calif., Affects Dealers, System Owners

On Feb. 7, 2006, Hayward, Calif., updated its false alarm ordinance, using an increased fee structure to recoup costs spent on responding to false alarms.

The new ordinance, which was approved by the City Council, retains the $25 alarm permit registration fee, but ceases the discounting of alarm charges.

The new permit fee changes the false alarm period from 180 days to a year, and changes the fee structure from $100 to $150 for the third false alarm (the first two receive only warnings). The fee for the fourth false alarm increases from $150 to $300, and fifth and subsequent false alarm will be fined at $500 per occurrence.

The alarm ordinance also addresses duress and panic alarms, which will cost $150 for a first offense, $250 for a second, $350 for a third, $450 for a fourth, and $550 for all subsequent false alarms.

The ordinance also deals with unregistered alarm systems, and creates a fine for operating an alarm system without a permit. The cost of this additional fine will be $250 per false alarm, with discounts or fees waived if the permit is obtained within 30 days. This part of the ordinance also would fine security and alarm dealers $250 for installing an alarm system without the owner having obtained the required permit.

Before the city council's meeting, representatives of local alarm companies were briefed on the proposed changes and made added recommendations that all panels meet ANSI standards for false alarm reduction, suggested enhanced call verification as a monitoring requirement and that there be a one week period for new alarm systems where alarm signals would not be reported to police.