The Police Department is committed to working with responsible alarm owners and encourages a partnership with the homeowners, businesses, and alarm company representatives in the administration of the false alarm program. Police resources are not effectively utilized when officers are responding to false alarms. The alarm ordinance has been designed to reduce police response to false alarms allowing police officers to devote more of their time to other community needs.
Each year the Folsom Police Department responds to over 3,500 false alarms. The vast majority of these are from businesses caused by user error.
City of Folsom Alarm Ordinance
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The City of Folsom alarm ordinance requires that individual homeowners and businesses obtain an alarm permit before operating an alarm. Effective July 1, 2013, the alarm permit fee is $40.00. A false alarm fee of $85.00 will be charged from either the second (2nd) or the third (3rd) false alarm at the same location within any calendar year from January through December, depending on whether the location has a current alarm permit with accurate information on file with the City of Folsom. There will be a false alarm charge of $100.00 for the fourth (4th), $150.00 for fifth (5th +) false alarm activations.
The ordinance is designed to reduce false alarms.
The alarm user will provide the department with a list of two persons capable of responding and securing your premise. These persons should have a key and alarm access information.
Cost to You the Taxpayer
A typical response to an alarm involves two police officers and takes about 20-30 minutes each. With over 3,500 false alarms yearly, the cost to the Police Department, and you the taxpayer, is about $95,000, or over 3,500 hours, which is time an officer could better use to patrol neighborhoods or to resolve community crime problems. This time and money could be better spent making Folsom a safer and more enjoyable community.
Alarm systems must be designed to meet the following minimum requirements:
- Alarm sound must shut off within 15 minutes of activation.
- Alarm must have a four hour battery power supply, to sustain alarm functions during a power outage, without sounding a false alarm.
- Alarm must not emit a sound similar to an emergency vehicle siren.
- No automatic telephone dialing device may telephone 911, nor police offices, with a prerecorded message.
- Permitted users must instruct all persons having access to the alarm system in the operation of the device. The instruction must include information on activation and deactivation of the system, including pass code if needed for the alarm company.
Violations of any of the provisions of this ordinance will result in a citation to the owner/operator of the premises. Citations may range from $20-$500.
The Police Department may suspend an alarm permit for 365 days during which time the alarm system shall not be used. The Police Department is authorized to disable an alarm system that does not conform to alarm ordinance.