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Fines will be levied for false alarms

12/6/2013, 6 a.m.

Homeowners in unincorporated DeKalb County now face fines for false alarms from their home security systems.

The new CryWolf alarm registration program took effect Dec. 1.

Under the program, fines will be levied for the second false alarm and each one thereafter.

The county hopes to reduce false alarms by as much as 70 percent in the first year of the program.

Interim CEO Lee May says that under an agreement approved in April, Public Safety Corp. takes over alarm registrations, false alarm notifications, billing and collections for the county using its proprietary CryWolf software.

Burke Brennan, the county’s press secretary, says registration is required only for those alarm systems in unincorporated DeKalb County.

“Section 3-3 of the ordinance covers registration and specifies unincorporated DeKalb County only,” he said.

The county says that over the past three years, DeKalb Police responded to more than 70,000 alarms annually, of which 89 percent were false.

It said that DeKalb Fire Rescue also responded to 7,000 alarm system calls annually and 75 percent of them were false.

Under the ordinance, all alarm system companies are required to register alarms they install, and any business that provides alarm monitoring, servicing or installation also is required to be registered.

“Alarm companies doing business in unincorporated DeKalb County are responsible for registering their customers with CryWolf,” the county said.

“If a resident pays an alarm company for monitoring service, that alarm company is responsible for registering the alarm on the resident’s behalf.”

In addition, the alarm companies will be responsible for the $5 registration fee for each of its residential customers.

Alarm companies can register at www

.crywolf.us/oss/dekalbcoga.

On www.dekalbcountyga.gov, a link to the Police Department offers details of the program and helpful tips on reducing false alarms.

For more information, call the Public Safety Corp. customer service desk at 1-877-665-2988.