Oxford, Conn., to See Alarm Ordinance Changes

According to a report from online newspaper VoicesNews.com, the town of Oxford, Conn., is yet another in a list of cities facing the issue of revising an alarm ordinance.

At a public hearing in late July, local citizens and alarm industry representatives from the Connecticut Alarm and Systems Integrators Association met with town selectmen to discuss an ordinance that is designed to address not only false alarms, but also alarm permitting.

One of the more contentious items on the table was the part of the ordinance that dealt with registration of alarms. As proposed, the ordinance would require that installers register the alarm 10 days before installation and obtain the permit. The installing company would also be required to notify the city of any changes in the alarm systems in the first 30 days. The ordinance would also set up fines to be paid if an active alarm is not registered.

According to some CASIA members quoted in the story, they saw issues of exposing their client list before the alarm is installed, and questions of who would pay for the fines -- the alarm owner or the installer?

The ordinance would also set up a fairly standard fine system for false alarms, with the fourth false alarm costing $25, the fifth costing $50 and the sixth costing $75.

Attendees from the alarm industry weren't without their own suggestions either. A proposed recommendation to the ordinance also suggested that the city consider requiring the alarm company to inspect the system after two false alarms. Another recommendation was that the city consider moving to enhanced call verification, a program which requires that two calls be made by the monitoring station to attempt to reach the alarm owners before requesting city police/fire response.

The ordinance has been sent back to council and is being reworked before it will be represented to the town.