Gainesville, Fla., Seeks to Update False Alarm Ordinance

A news report on WCJB TV 20 news in Gainesville, Fla., indicates that Alachua County and Gainesville fire departments are working together toward a new ordinance on nuisance alarms, a.k.a., false alarms.

According to the report, county officials have said that 70 percent of all alarm calls are false alarms. The report also said that in the city of Gainesville, the percentage of alarms that are false is 43 percent, a number that is significantly lower than the numbers claimed by most cities implementing new alarm ordinances aimed at curbing false alarms.

The proposed policy would require registration of alarms, and would put forth a fining system that would start at $25 and increase to $400.

According to Elmond Taylor, the Gainesville Fire Rescue Assistant Chief who was quoted in the report, there may be possibilities of reduced fines for alarm owners that invest in new, less problematic equipment.

According to the WCJB report, the plans will be scheduled by Gainesville and the Alachua County Commissions, and the policy could be implemented as early as July 1, 2005.

In the report, officials cited the major source of false alarms as faulty equipment, rather than human operator error.