County to push for new ordinance

Friday, February 1, 2002

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.-Alarm dealers and Palm Beach County officials are waiting for county commissioners to vote later this year on a proposed alarm ordinance that would remove monetary penalties for false alarms from the alarm dealer and circumvent a potential conflict between security industry standards.

The proposed ordinance, which would replace the current false alarm standards that went into effect in 2000, would require the alarm user to pay the bulk of the penalties for false alarms but would leave dealers responsible for registering alarm accounts with the county.

Registration fees in the proposed ordinance would also be substantially lower - now at $24 per year, fees would drop to $18 for new alarms and $5 for renewals, said Roy Pollack, compliance officer for Guardian International and past president of the Alarm Association of Florida.

One potential problem that arose, however, was between two standards in the industry - UL certification and the SIA CP-01, designed to reduce false alarms and was recommended by the alarm industry.

"The UL issue came up because nothing in South Florida gets installed if it doesn't have a UL label on it," Pollack said, "because of the electrical inspectors and permitting."

Where UL prohibits a dialer delay, the SIA standard recommends a dialer delay that cannot be changed by the installer, Pollack said. To meet the county sheriff's department requirement that all newly installed panels meet SIA CP-01, but still allow commercial systems to maintain UL certification for insurance purposes, both sides agreed to a caveat - if a system is required to be UL certified, then it will be exempt from SIA CP-01, he said.

"We think this is a first, because the SIA standard is new and we're unique" with the electrician's UL requirement, Pollack said.