Sharp drop in false alarms
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 issue...as 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.