Best Practices for Alarm Management Prevails in Georgia (Governor Kemp Signs HB 465)

Best Practices for Alarm Management Prevails in Georgia (Governor Kemp Signs HB 465)
Chris Heaton — May 4, 2021

Photo (starting from left): Dan Gordon (Gordon Security Systems), Doug Bassett (XFINITY Home), Becky Busby-Maiello (Systems Distributors), Stan Martin (SIAC), John Loud (LOUD Security Systems), Gov. Brian Kemp, Joseph Gullett (GA. representative, District 67), Micah Gravly (Ga. representative, District 67), and Randy Robertson (Ga. senator, District 29).

 


 

The struggle began with an ill-conceived ordinance in Sandy Springs, Ga. This city decided alarm companies, not alarm users, should pay for the false alarm fines when public safety is dispatched, regardless of who was responsible for the activation. Despite ample evidence that alarm users cause the overwhelming percentage of false alarm dispatches, this local government decided it was more expedient to fine the alarm companies.

While everyone agrees false alarms need to be addressed with sound alarm management practices, there was an obvious disconnect between Sandy Springs and law enforcement organizations that endorsed model ordinances in cooperation with electronic security organizations like the Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), ESA, SIA and TMA. These model ordinances, endorsed by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and National Sheriffs Association (NSA), were developed over years of research and collaboration between law enforcement leaders and the electronic security industry. These model ordinances were endorsed by IACP and NSA because they work.

HB 465 was filed with the hope that common sense practices and broad law enforcement support for its model ordinance would resonate with Georgia legislators. It was clear that it did. The effort of many people and groups culminated with Georgia Governor Brian Kemp’s signature on HB 465, which will preempt local governments from imposing fines against alarm companies unless it is determined the alarm company was responsible for the false dispatch.

We congratulate all of those who worked to make this legislation a reality.

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