Elk Grove Village, Ill. pulls proposed fire alarm ordinance

Following an outcry by the security industry and local business leaders, trustees in Elk Grove Village, Ill. have decided to pull a proposed ordinance that would have required all new businesses and multi-family condos and apartment complexes to install wireless fire alarm systems.

At a meeting held on Tuesday night by the Elk Grove Village board, Illinois Electronic Security Association Executive Director Kevin Lehan said that more than 40 business people and security industry leaders were in attendance to voice their concerns about the ordinance, which would have also required that these systems be connected directly with Northwest Central Dispatch, the city's public safety answering point or PSAP.

Although the ordinance was intended to reduce the number of false alarms responded to by firefighters, Lehan said it would have put the private security industry at a disadvantage.

"Elk Grove Village is home to one of the largest industrial parks in the United States and it is a community known for fostering a good business environment. I applaud the mayor and trustees' decision to listen to the business community, which collectively said that they prefer the free market to operate without government intervention," Lehan said in a statement to SIW. "On behalf of the Illinois Electronic Security Association, I have thanked the community's leaders for listening to our point of view regarding the proposed ordinance that would have created an uneven playing field. The private alarm industry will be working with Elk Grove Village to implement the best systems and protocols available in the free market without costing the town or business community additional money."

The industry's successful stand against the proposed ordinance in Elk Grove Village could be short lived, however, as more potential legislation looms in nearby Elgin, where a discussion about fire alarm systems is on the agenda of the city council meeting on Wednesday night.

According to a story published by the Daily Herald last month, Elgin City Manager Sean Stegall said that the council would vote this month on hiring a consultant that would weigh the benefits of establishing a city-owned fire alarm monitoring network.