False alarms to cost real money - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

False alarms to cost real money

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - To help reduce false alarms and recover costs of responding to them, the City of Spokane Valley is implementing a new user-based alarm registration program that goes into effect on January 1, 2010.  

The new program is designed to ensure that those who do not have alarm systems don't bear the costs of false alarms.  

Under the program, only those with alarm systems will be required to pay a registration fee and only those responsible for false alarms will pay the fees associated with responding to them.

Fees will apply to offset the costs for law enforcement response to alarms that turn out to be false. Those fees will be $85 per residential incident and $165 per commercial incident.  

Annual registration for residential alarm systems will be $25, and business alarm system registration will be $35.  If the registered system has no false alarms during the prior registration year, subsequent registration fees drop to $15 for residential alarm systems and $25 for business alarm systems.

"Registration helps reduce false alarms by ensuring alarm service providers and law enforcement have up-to-date alarm response instructions and contacts to confirm whether alarm response is necessary or appropriate," said Spokane Valley Police Chief Rick VanLeuven.  "In addition, because most false alarms are preventable, registrants will be provided with information on causes of false alarms and tips for preventing them."

Fire alarms, personal safety alarms and car alarms are exempt from the new requirements.

In 2008, Spokane Valley law enforcement responded to 1,055 false alarms.  That equals about 527 hours of law enforcement time diverted from genuine law enforcement needs, according to VanLeuven.

For more information, call 1-877-314-1891.

- City of Spokane Valley

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