Ask the Mayor: Why Are Property Owners Fined for False Alarms?
Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the questions submitted to his office staff.
Submit your own questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via email at [email protected], call 270-7855 or send them by mail to 200 S. High St., 9th Floor, Wailuku, HI 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column.
Q: I see that a fine will be levied against property owners who do not register their alarm system with the county. Why is the owner responsible and being fined when it is the alarm company that is supposed to check first before dispatching help?
A: Ultimately, the home or business owner is responsible for 1) taking precautions to help prevent recurring false alarms, and 2) answering their phone if the security company is trying to alert them of an alarm at their property.
Anyone installing a security system will be required to provide a list of several contact numbers so that in the event of an alarm, the individuals may be contacted first before dispatching police. If the homeowner or business cannot be contacted at any of the provided numbers, the security company will follow protocol and dispatch police.
Maui County’s new “Cry Wolf” program was established to increase home and business owners’ accountability to help cut down the number of false alarms, which according to MPD estimates, have accounted for an average of 95% of all alarm calls that police officers are dispatched to.
The new program requires both homeowners and businesses with alarms to register their alarm system; a fine is imposed for not registering an alarm.
There is no fine for the first false alarm; however, there are fines at varying amounts for residents and businesses for second, third and subsequent false alarms.
An appeal may be made in writing within 30 days of the date the fine notification was sent.
To learn more about the Cry Wolf program, common causes of false alarms, fee assessments or to register your alarm system, visit www.mauicounty.gov/crywolf and click on the link under “Registration.”