NORTH FULTON COUNTY, Ga. - Sandy Springs leaders are giving home and business owners some more time to comply with a new ordinance that requires them to register their monitored alarm systems.
As of Oct. 1, the city had required all alarms to be registered with a company called "Cry Wolf."
"We feel if you register alarm, we feel your alarm system will be better maintained and we want to ultimately cut down on those false alarms," said Sandy Springs Police Captain Keith Zgonc.
Zgonc told Channel 2's Mike Petchenik of the 9,000 alarm calls first responders received in 2012, more than
90 percent were false.
"The ultimate goal is efficiency," he said. "We want to make sure our police and firefighters are out there doing what everyone wants them to do, not spending time on false alarms when it's not needed."
Zgonc said, to date, only about 6,000 homes and businesses had registered their systems. Zgonc said that represents a fraction of eligible alarms. Zgonc said alarm companies are not required to report to the city which homes and businesses are customers.
He said after the Oct. 1 deadline, first responders found more than half of the false alarms they responded to were at locations that had not registered.
"There is a fee and fine structure in place for failing to register your alarm as well as the false alarms," he said.
But, Zgonc said because many homes and businesses are claiming they didn't know about the ordinance, the city is giving violators until
Feb. 1 to comply.
"As long as you register your alarm within 14 days, which is what we want you to do, we'll waive that $100 fee," he said.
Homeowner Kathy Autry counts herself among those who weren't aware of the ordinance.
"Totally news. I've never heard of it," she said. "We've been in the subdivision 13 years."
Autry told Petchenik she planned to register using the city's web site.
The owners of a new gourmet take-out shop on Roswell Road just had their alarm installed. They, too, claim to have been unaware of the situation.
"It's my first time hearing this," said Rodney Vanderhorst. "Gonna make sure we're
OK, and that our alarm is set up perfectly fine."