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City Hopes To Cut Number Of False Alarms

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 emergencies.

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 emergencies.

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. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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