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Automatic Alarms account for 1/3 of all the Freeport Fire Department responses each year or about 600 Alarms. Only about 1 percent of these alarms are for true emergencies. The over whelming majority of these Automatic Alarms are for the following reasons:
- System Malfunctions requiring maintenance of the alarm system.
- Improper Smoke heads or Smoke heads placed too close to cooking surfaces in Kitchens resulting in alarms being transmitted during normal cooking.
- Smoke heads being placed too close to bathroom doors and alarms being activated from steam from Showers.
- Malicious False Alarms being trigged by kids.
- Dust from Construction being done in a residence or business, especially true right now with all the repairs being made after Hurricane Sandy. If a resident or business is having construction work being done, they are required to contact their Alarm Company to have the system taken off line for the day. Some systems can be also put into test mode or turned off but please make sure alarms are turned back on at completion of days’ work.
- Accidental trips by resident hitting the wrong button on a control panel.
In an effort to reduce these Nuisance False Alarms the Freeport Board of Trustees has passed an ordinance regulating the operation of alarm systems within the Incorporated Village of Freeport. The law addresses the fact that false alarms have become an impairment to the Police and Fire Departments, overtaxing their resources and impacting their ability to respond to true emergencies. Additionally, the persistent noise associated with audible alarm systems, while necessary in the event of a true emergency, is oftentimes a preventable nuisance to neighbors attributable merely to some mechanical error.
In an effort to combat the negative effects false alarms have on our community, the law, §72-16, contains provisions for fines of up to $2,000.00 per offense as well as additional civil penalties which accrue separately and are based upon the number of false alarms at a given address.
The Freeport Village Clerk will issue a Warning letter after the first offense and Violations thereafter. False alarms emanating from your premises may result in the issuance of a summons, requiring your appearance in Court.
The Village of Freeport is also now requiring that each premises protected by an alarm system be registered with the Village Clerk. This new regulation has been shown in many other communities nationwide to substantially reduce the number of false alarms.
Effective Tuesday, July 5, 2011, enforcement of Local Law 2-2010, Chapter 72 of the Code of the Village of Freeport, will commence. Anyone who controls a premise that is protected by an alarm system as defined in this law must immediately apply for an alarm permit.
Some important features to be aware of:
- An alarm installer is required to assure a permit has been taken out prior to any installation.
- Each type of alarm requires a permit. Types of alarms include intrusion, fire, hazardous materials, etc.
- Fees are authorized to help cover the cost of the alarm regulation. Fees are $50 per annum per type of alarm, or $125 for a three (3) year permit per alarm type.
- All alarm systems must be monitored by a central alarm service.
- The alarm law extends to both residential and commercial premises.
- After a response to a call that is determined to be a false alarm, the alarm user may be required to take corrective action.
- Alarm Users or Alarm Installers may be subject to certain civil fees and/or criminal penalties for failure to take corrective actions recommended by an emergency service.
Please take whatever steps are necessary to prevent any violations of these ordinances. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Freeport Village Clerks Office at (516) 377-2300.