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False Alarms in Philadelphia

We are in Philadelphia this weekend and there will be much more about what brought us here in a few days. Even while traveling, I can't forget my day job though.  It is fun for me to compare how different jurisdictions handle the false alarm issue. 
It appears that there has been some form of legislation for burglar alarm systems as far back as 1993 in Philadelphia, but it had not been as effective as desired.  In 2008, the city council passed a resolution authorizing a study of the false alarm problem. The resolution states that in 2006 there were 90,373 false alarms and in 2007, there were 92,281.  That is quite a few--averaging out to almost 253 per day or about one every 6 minutes.  This study appears to have led to code updates. A synopsis of the updates and the required registration form are located here.

A quick search found these facts on burglar alarm systems in Philadelphia:  

  • Annual registration is $50
  • Two "free" alarms per year
  • False Alarm charge is $75/alarm
  • Unregistered systems receive a $150-$300 additional charge per alarm
  • Enforced by the Department of Finance, Code Unit.
Does this make your ordinance seem better or worse?

This data is presented for informational purposes only. Residents must check with the government in their jurisdiction to determine what the current legislation is and what requirements must be met. 

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