City Council Amends False Alarm Ordinance

At the January 17, 2006 meeting, the Duncanville City Council adopted an amendment to the False Alarm Ordinance, bringing the City in line with the new state legislation that went into effect September 1, 2005.

In 2003 the Duncanville City Council first amended the ordinance that related to false alarms.

The ordinance adopted in 2003 called for a $35 annual fee for homeowners and businesses to register their alarms. The ordinance regulates burglar, robbery, panic and fire alarms.

The new ordinance provides for a graduated penalty schedule for false alarms:

OCCURRENCE OF FALSE ALARMS IN A 12-MONTH PERIOD
PENALTY
First three
No Charge
4-5
$50.00
6-7
$75.00
8 or more
$100.00

Non-payment by the homeowner or business will result in a class ‘C’ misdemeanor with a fine up to $500. If a non-permitted location has been notified of the need for a permit and they do not comply, the police and fire departments will no longer respond to the alarm call.

The ordinance also allows a permit to be revoked after ten (10) false alarm calls, which results in no further responses from police and fire. However, if the permit holder continues to pay the penalties after the three false alarms allowed by state law, then police and fire will continue to respond.

A false alarm is described as a response by a police officer to an alarm activation, who after investigation finds no evidence of criminal activity, will designate the alarm signal as a false alarm. If the alarm company contacts the police department and disregards the officers prior to their arrival then it will not be considered a false alarm.

The Duncanville Police Department has identified the following as major causes of false alarms:

  • Property owners mistake
  • Door not properly closed
  • Kids, neighbors, relatives, visitors, repairman
  • Cleaning crews
  • Pets
  • Equipment malfunction

Citizens and business owners can cut down on false alarms by educating everyone that has access to the building on the proper use of the alarm, by keeping motion detector sensors clear and by changing the battery on their system every three years.

Any questions or concerns in reference to alarm permits, contact the police department at 972-780-4992