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My alarm system experienced a malfunction and was in need of a repair which is what caused the alarm dispatch. Does this qualify as an exemption of fines?
According to Town Code §85-5. page 7 under Installation and Maintenance:
"The owner or lessee shall be responsible for the maintenance and service of his or her fire or police alarm device equipment and shall be responsible for all malfunctions of his or her equipment."
Any appeal received in regards to this category will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
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A false alarm is when your alarm company reports an alarm activation, a police and/or fire official respond to your residence or business. When they arrive on scene and there is no emergency present, this is considered a false alarm.
Effective October 8, 2017, any false alarm that is older than sixty months will be aged off of the alarm count for that property. Your false alarm account will be billed based on the amount of alarms within a sixty-month period. Invoice # starting with a PA is a POLICE ALARM and FA is a FIRE ALARM.
A. For each subsequent false POLICE ALARM, the following schedule of fees shall apply for alarms occurring within the preceding sixty-month period:
First false police alarm is: No charge
Second false alarm: $100.00
Third false alarm: $200.00
Fourth false alarm: $250.00
Fifth false alarm: $300.00
Sixth or more false alarm: $400.00
B. For each subsequent false FIRE ALARM, the following schedule of fees shall apply for alarms occurring within the preceding sixty-month period:
First false fire alarm: No charge
Second false fire alarm: $400.00
Third false fire alarm: $500.00
Fourth false fire alarm: $750.00
Fifth or more false fire alarm: $1,000.00
Yes, now payments can be made online through our online portal via credit card after you create an account. Visit the Town website at www.southamptontownny.gov, click the orange “ONLINE Services” link to the left, and click on “Alarm Billing” for instructions.
To appeal a false alarm charge, go to the Town website at www.southamptontownny.gov/alarmbilling to fill out an online form or print a form and mail to:
Town of SouthamptonAttention: Alarm Billing116 Hampton RoadSouthampton, NY 11968
Please attach any supporting documentation. This must be completed within 30 days of the invoice date located at the top right corner of your invoice.
Any unpaid invoices dated between September 1st of the previous year to August 31st of the current year, that have not been paid by November 1st will be placed on your December Tax Bill of the current year.
Ex: Any unpaid alarms that occurred from September 1, 2015 to August 31, 2016 will be placed on the 2016/2017 Tax Levy.
According to the Town, any burglar alarm must be canceled by the alarm company before any police arrive on scene. Police dispatchers will not accept calls from the home owner. The police dispatch does not have the means of being able to confirm that the caller is the actual homeowner or that the homeowner isn’t canceling because they are under duress (being made to do so). The only alarms that cannot be canceled are a panic, holdup or fire alarms.
Many alarm companies make it part of their procedure to have a “call list” to help prevent false alarms, while other companies do not always notify their customers of this option. We recommend that a “call list” be put in place so that there are multiple ways to contact someone in case of a false alarm.
Yes. Be aware of any persons on your property at all times. If you have a housecleaner, landscaper, or if there is construction being done, please make sure that all parties either have the pass code to the alarm system, or a set schedule of when they will be entering the property. If you have friends or family staying at the property, please make sure that all the individuals have the proper information to disarm the alarm system or the pass code so that they can provide the information to the alarm company when they call.
Some alarm companies will offer to have one of their employees or security guards respond to an alarm signal and if there is a problem they will then dispatch Police. Most companies that offer this service have a fee associated with it so make sure you research what the fees are. This is a preference call on your end. If you are not in the area all year round, or are a “Seasonal Resident”, we recommend having a caretaker, or asking a trusted neighbor to keep an eye on your property. This helps limit the chances of false alarms.
A huge concern with some of the alarm companies is making sure they are able to service or repair your alarm system in a reasonable amount of time. There are many alarm companies that will monitor your system, but they do not have any technicians in the area to service your alarm when needed.
We recommend that the property owner should have their alarm system serviced regularly or at least on a yearly basis. This will help to keep the alarm system functioning properly and will greatly decrease the possibility of false alarms.
If your property has a landline for your communications and home phone, we recommend having a battery backup for the modem in case of a power outage. This will help limit any missed calls in any areas with poor cellular service.
An alarm company cannot appeal a false alarm invoice for the property owner/tenant. It is the property owner’s responsibility to follow the procedure when appealing a false alarm invoice. All necessary information will be requested from the property owner once an appeal is received.
The Alarm Billing inquiry phone line is 631-702-1886.
This is a voice mail only line.
Please leave the following information so we can review the information prior to returning your phone call.
Please be advised that this is a very high volume call line. Please be assured that your call will be answered in the order in which it is received and given the same adequate attention as all other previous calls.
Commercial properties are the only properties that are required to register their fire alarms with the fire department. Residential properties do not need to register an alarm system nor is it a requirement to have one.
Non-profit organizations, like churches and other not-for-profits, are not excluded from false alarm fines and are responsible for payment of such fees. This is not a tax, therefore any property that does not pay taxes are still responsible for payments of false alarm fines.
“School districts and other governmental agencies would be exempt for paying the false burglar alarm fees imposed by Town Code Sec. 85-4(A) and (B).”
Schools, libraries, and any government owned property are the only exceptions and are excluded from paying false alarm fines.
Yes. You can sign up on our online portal from the Town website. Visit the Town website at :www.southamptontownny.gov, click the “ONLINE Services” link to the left, and click on “Alarm Billing”. Click the link to create an account to view your open invoices, account history, or to make payments online.
According to the Town Code § 85-3. Intentional False Alarms:
B. “Any person, corporation, or other entity that performs work in a building protected by an alarm system that causes the alarm to falsely actuate shall be deemed responsible for that actuation.”
If work is being done at the property location, the homeowner is responsible for making the necessary changes with the alarm company.