April 28, 2005
By MATT BURGARD, Courant Staff Writer
Hartford officials are
urging people who own alarm systems in the city to make sure
they are registered. The city wants to reduce false alarms,
which last year accounted for roughly three quarters of the
alarm calls that came into the dispatch center.
Gary Stango, the city's director of emergency communications,
said the number of false alarms the dispatch center receives
has become an enormous drain on resources and threatens the
ability of police and firefighters to respond properly to legitimate
Last year, he said, the police department responded to about
9,000 false alarms - roughly 75 percent of the 12,000 alarm
calls that the department received - while the fire department
responded to about 1,300. Stango said each false alarm call
requires at least two police cruisers or a fire apparatus to
be sent to the location where the alarm sounded.
Though most false alarm calls aren't intentional, Stango said
they drain thousands of hours in manpower from police and fire
department resources, making it difficult to respond to legitimate
To reduce the amount of time that police officers and firefighters
waste at false alarms, Stango and other city officials are
calling on the public to register home and business alarm systems
with the city. Registrations are required by city ordinance,
and unregistered alarm owners are subject to fines, he said.
By registering their alarm systems, Stango said, there's a
greater chance that homeowners and businesses will make sure
their systems are properly maintained.
If the city can reduce the number of false alarms it receives
each year by a third, or about 3,000 calls, it could save as
many as 6,000 man-hours for police and firefighters. As a result,
Stango said, the city would be able to send police and firefighters
to legitimate emergencies more quickly.
Stango said anyone with an unregistered alarm system should
call the city's dispatch center at 860-527-6300 to receive
an application and registration form.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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