Great news folks! California recently passed legislation that was signed by Governor Jerry Brown that bans municipalities from proactively fining alarm companies for a customer’s false alarms. AB 1616 was signed into law July 31. Similar language is now on the books in Florida, California and Texas – the three largest states.
Specifically, “This bill would prohibit an alarm company operator or an alarm agent from being liable for civil penalties and fines assessed by a city, county, or city and county for false alarms not attributed to alarm company operator error, improper installation of the alarm system by an alarm agent or an alarm company operator, defective equipment provided or installed by an alarm agent or an alarm company operator, or defective equipment leased by an alarm company operator,” according to language in the bill.
What does that mean for us in the electronic security industry? It means a major step by a big state that supports the perspective of our industry and one SIAC espouses and fights tirelessly for. That’s a major victory. Over the past few years, we’ve seen municipalities began to seek authority to fine alarm companies for a customer’s false alarms. This legislation stops that from occurring.
Because of similar legislation in the other states noted above, we’re seeing our industry get out in front of this ball rather than reacting. We urge you to remain vigilant in your state to egregious changes to local laws and ordinances. If you see or hear of something adversely affecting our industry, please reach out to Stan Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org, 972.377.9401. Send us relevant information. If you leave a message, we will get back to your promptly.
SIAC also urges you to get involved with your state legislature on this issue through your alarm association. We can provide you materials to reach out and inform elected officials on why this legislation makes sense.