Alarm Ordinance #1227 was passed in the fall of 1994, governing any existing and new alarms for all businesses and residences within the city. The ordinance was necessary due to the excessive amount of false alarms in the City of Merriam. Each alarm system user within the city is required to register their alarm, and the user will be provided a certificate and a numbered alarm sticker for posting. There will be no charge to the alarm user for the registration of their alarm system. Many cities in Johnson County have passed their own alarm ordinances and have successfully reduced their number of false alarms, whether they were for police or fire response.
The goal of the alarm ordinance is to significantly reduce the number of false alarms in the city. All alarm users will be provided a grace period and/or a set number of allowable false alarms at the initial phase of the registration. Each year thereafter, no fines will be assessed for the first three false alarms during the calendar year. The next three alarms during the same calendar year will be assessed a $50 fee for each alarm, the three after that, $100 per alarm, thereafter, $150 for each alarm.
There are three major reasons for having false alarms: technological errors, installation errors, and user errors. Recent studies have shown that up to 75 percent of false alarms are attributed to user errors. Proper training in the use of the alarm system by their respective alarm company, and by employers training their employees, will significantly reduce the false alarm rate.