Henderson Co. Sheriff’s Office Looking To Crack Down On False Al - WSPA.com

Henderson Co. Sheriff’s Office Looking To Crack Down On False Alarms

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Henderson County Sheriff’s Office says responding to excessive false alarm calls during the year is wasting valuable time and resources. Henderson County Sheriff’s Office says responding to excessive false alarm calls during the year is wasting valuable time and resources.
Gary Brittain knows all too well that high-tech alarm systems can be easily triggered.   

 
“The cameras were picking up shadows and setting off the alarm,” said the owner of Castrol Premium Lube Express in Mills River.

Brittain eventually figured out the problem, however, deputies responded to his business more than once.

Last year, Henderson County Sheriff’s Office answered more than 2,500 false alarm calls.

According to Maj. Frank Stout, the calls are quickly adding up.  He says the amount of time and resources spent chasing false alarms equals a deputy’s annual salary.

To reduce the number of calls, the sheriff’s office wants to impose a fine on repeat offenders.

“We are trying to be as fiscally responsible with the budget that we are given and this is just one of the ways we feel that we can provide a better bang for the buck for taxpayers,” Stout said.

Under the plan, businesses and homes would only be fined after having a certain number of false alarms.

“I am sure it is a problem,” says Brittain.  “I have learned to address my problem here, by knowing when the false alarms were going off.”

Most people weren’t opposed to the idea, but some had concerns.

“Just because someone is not in the building doesn’t mean someone wasn’t trying to get in,” said Audrey Waycaster who owns a tire and auto repair shop in Mills River.

Stout says the goal of the proposal is to encourage people to fix their faulty alarm systems.

The sheriff’s office has already responded to one property more than 40 times this year.

Stout says the time deputies spend responding could have been spent preventing actual crime.

Before the sheriff’s office can impose any fines, the plan will have to be approved by county leaders.

Tips to reduce false alarms:

    1) Make sure all users and key holders to the property are trained to use the system and know the codes to arm and disarm the system properly including the cancellation procedure of a false activation.

    2) You may have your alarm company call you or a designated user first, before the police, when activated. This is known as verification.

    3) Be sure all windows and doors are tight fitting. Adjust any strike plates so the door only moves a ¼ of an inch. Have an alarming delay that is beneficial to the user and their requirements.

    4) If you expect contractors, real estate agents, custodial crews etc., you must take proper action to ensuring they are familiar with the system as well. It is your responsibility.

 
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