Howard County, Md., to Implement False Alarm Policy

Howard County, Md., is set to implement its residential alarm ordinance this Friday.

Facing what's become standard throughout the industry -- scores of false alarms -- Howard County has implement a policy that will fine alarm owners if their systems have to many nuisance alerts.

The ordinance is designed such that owners are given two "free" false alarms each year, but the third alarm will cost them a fine of $50. A fourth alarm will cost $100. A fifth alarm will be fined $150 (fines increase by $50 each time), and it requires the alarm system to be inspected by the alarm company.

Owners can have their first fine waved if they complete an online education program about alarm systems.

Alarm system owners who fail to register their alarms will find a much more stringent fine system. The first false alarm will cost those owners $200.

The county implemented a fine-based system for commercial alarm owners in April of last year.