Every time a burglar alarm sounds, a sheriff’s deputy is dispatched to investigate the cause. Since Jan. 1, deputies have responded to 327 alarms, all but one of which proved false, according to Sheriff David Taylor.
The time wasted responding to a false alarm is time that could be spent on more important business. That’s why Union County Council voted Monday to establish a schedule of fines for repeated false alarms.
Under the ordinance, residences and businesses will not be fined for the first two false alarms that occur during the calendar year. Subsequent false alarms will result in fines of $50 to $150, depending on how many times they occur. Alarms caused by storms won’t be counted.
“We’re not doing this to make money, we’re doing this to make people be accountable for their alarm systems,” Taylor said.
A similar ordinance has been in place in the City of Union since 2007 and has resulted in a significant decrease in false alarms, according to Public Safety Director Sam White.
Homeowners and business owners should be more responsible for their alarm systems and make sure they are functioning properly. The new fine schedule should provide the necessary impetus.