Alton, N.H., Updates Ordinance for Fire and Security Alarms

New fire alarm requirements include strobes, Knox boxes; higher fines for false security and fire alarms


Alton, N.H., is yet another town on this week's round-up of cities across the nation that are updating their alarm ordinances. Following a number of problematic responses to alarms in the town, the city has responded with more stringent measures to reduce false alarms and ensure proper response, according to a report on the (Laconia, N.H.) Citizen Online.

As part of the new ordinance, facilities and residences armed with fire alarms will need to have a lockable box on the exterior that includes a building master key, a list of emergency alarm contacts and information on operating the alarm system. The ordinance also requires that alarmed structures feature a red strobe on the exterior to indicate to responders that the structure is the source of the fire alarm call.

The ordinance also includes an increase in false alarm fines. First false security alarm responses within the year will not be fined; second responses will cost $50; a third false alarm will be assessed $100; fourth and additional false alarms will be billed $250 per instance.

A similar fee structure will be in place for false fire alarms. First offense is free; second is fined $250; the third false alarm is billed $500; and subsequent false alarms will be charged $750 per instance.

The new ordinance also allows a clause for the police or fire department to stop responding to structures that have a very high number of false alarms.