False alarms will soon cost some very real money in New Orleans

It might be time to check your home or business alarm before it costs you some money.

Starting in May, the New Orleans Police Department will begin levying fines for repeated false alarm calls.

In 2015 the city passed an ordinance aimed at minimizing the overall number of false alarm calls.

The ordinance will require businesses and residents to pay a fine for each false alarm call starting with the second offense.

“NOPD is taking a new approach to dealing with false alarms, which currently account for the overwhelming number of alarm calls,” said Superintendent Michael Harrison. “These calls waste a tremendous amount of our officers’ time and resources.”

By reducing or eliminating false alarm calls, Harrison said police are able to respond to actual crimes and emergencies when they arise.

According to the NOPD, last year 98.9 percent of all alarm calls in New Orleans were false alarms. Police responded to nearly 40,100 automatic alarm calls across the city, which averages to 110 calls per day. Of those calls, 39,643 were false alarms.

The average time spent on a false alarm call can range between 20 minutes to an hour.

False alarms can be caused by a variety of factors, errors, environment, improper code, power outages, animals and equipment malfunctions.

Under the ordinance, the alarm system user will get "four strikes" annually before service is suspended.

While there is no fine imposed for the first false alarm, fines start at $75 for the second offense and $150 for the third and fourth offenses

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