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Charlottetown alarm bylaw beefed up

The City of Charlottetown is firming up its bylaw around security systems and fire alams for the first time in 19 years.

More residential alarm systems one reason, for update says police chief

The changes to the bylaw are the first in nearly two decades. (Getty Images)

The City of Charlottetown is firming up its bylaw around security systems and fire alams for the first time in 19 years.

The original bylaw was written in 1997 but a lot has changed since then, said Police Chief Paul Smith. 

"What we're seeing now is that we're getting more residential stuff because people are starting to put more systems in their homes," he said.

Fines stay the same

Not a lot has changed in the bylaw — it's more of tightening up of language and writing new sections for new types of alarms, such as hold up alarms.

Even the fines remain the same for false alarm calls. You'll still be facing between $100 and $500.

"When you're looking at maximum ranges that would depend on a history so on a first offence it wouldn't be $500 that could be a third offence, the maximum is always tied to existing convictions," said Smith. 

New rules tighter for excessive alarms

One thing that has changed is the time period in which multiple alarms will be considered excessive. In 1997 excessive alarms were defined as three in a six month period, now it's two in a three month period. Smith said those excessive alarms are a big problem for emergency responders

"Well when you're looking at false alarms you're looking at a tie up of resources," he said. 'When you get an excessive number of alarms, now you're tying up resources that could be redirected some place else."

Changes to the bylaw passed first and second reading at Monday night's council meeting, and is expected to pass the third and final reading at next month's council meeting. 

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