Sharp drop in false alarms

The Glengarry News - - Front Page - BY SCOTT CARMICHAEL News Staff

A United Coun­ties of Stor­mont, Dun­das and Glen­garry-reg­u­lated pro­gram has helped to cre­ate a safer and more ef­fi­ciently-po­liced com­mu­nity for area res­i­dents, ac­cord­ing to its man­ager.

“False (se­cu­rity) alarms are an is­ they cost the tax­pay­ers thou­sands of dol­lars in po­lice time and equip­ment, and may de­lay re­sponse time to a real emer­gency,” Steve Perkins, co­or­di­na­tor of the United Coun­ties Po­lice Ser­vices Board’s False Alarm Pro­gram, told The News re­cently. “The pro­gram has proved very ef­fec­tive.” Sta­tis­tics pro­vided by Mr. Perkins bear wit­ness to his claim, show­ing a 73 per cent de­crease in the num­ber of false alarm calls to lo­cal emer­gency ser­vices – from 496 to 132, as of July 31, 2017 – since the pro­gram was adopted on Jan. 1, 2003.

Mr. Perkins added that there has been a 60.4 per­cent drop in the to­tal num­ber of alarm calls over that pe­riod.

To­tal re­ported alarm calls in both North and South Glen­garry have also dropped sig­nif­i­cantly over the past decade-and-a-half – from 244 in 2003 to 55 thus far in 2017 in North Glen­garry (78 per cent) and from 380 to 69 in South Glen­garry (82 per cent).

False alarm call fig­ures were not pro­vided for ei­ther town­ship.

The Coun­ties’ web­page de­voted to the False Alarm Pro­gram de­scribes a false alarm as “an alarm dis­patch re­quest to the po­lice ser­vice,

when the re­spond­ing of­fi­cer finds no ev­i­dence of a crim­i­nal of­fence af­ter hav­ing com­pleted a timely in­ves­ti­ga­tion of the alarm site.”

It adds that an alarm is con­sid­ered false when it is ac­ti­vated “un­nec­es­sar­ily, im­prop­erly or for a pur­pose other than that for which it was in­stalled.”

Com­mon causes of false alarm ac­ti­va­tion in­clude me­chan­i­cal or power fail­ures, unau­tho­rized test­ing, user

er­ror, and weather con­di­tions such as ex­treme cold and hu­mid tem­per­a­tures.

In or­der to avoid false alarm in­ci­dents, it’s rec­om­mended that equip­ment be rou­tinely in­spected and main­tained; doors and win­dows be se­cured be­fore the sys­tem is turned on; all users re­ceive train­ing on the proper use of their alarm sys­tem’s op­er­a­tion; and that users be aware of changes in their en­vi­ron­ment, i. e: home de­sign changes, sea­sonal dec­o­ra­tions, and new an­i­mals or plants.

All alarm sys­tem users must have a valid reg­is­tra­tion – is­sued by the alarm pro­gram

co­or­di­na­tor – for each alarm site.

There is a $ 36 reg­is­tra­tion fee for mon­i­tored and non­mon­i­tored res­i­den­tial and busi­ness alarm sys­tems.

Ap­pli­cants 65 years of age or older at the time of reg­is­tra­tion are ex­empt from the fee.

Alarm users are sub­ject to warn­ings, ad­min­is­tra­tive fees and sus­pen­sion of po­lice re­sponse, de­pend­ing on the num­ber of false alarms emit­ted from an alarm sys­tem within one year of the date of reg­is­tra­tion or re­newal.

For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion about the Coun­ties’ False Alarm Pro­gram, visit goo. gl/ jfJ1Mb.

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