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CS/SB 466 — Low-voltage Alarm Systems

by Regulated Industries Committee and Senator Flores

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Regulated Industries Committee (RI)

The bill amends the definition of Low-voltage Alarm Systems, reduces the maximum permit fee for those systems, and eliminates permit requirements for wireless burglar alarms and smoke detectors. Any electrical device or signaling device used to signal or detect a burglary, fire, robbery, or medical emergency is an alarm system. A system that is hardwired and operates at low voltage (with or without home-automation equipment, thermostats, and video cameras) is a low-voltage alarm system. The bill excludes wireless alarm systems (burglar alarms and smoke detectors) from all permitting requirements of any local enforcement agency with jurisdiction over building inspections and code enforcement, such as a local government, school board, community college, or university.

In addition to providing that permits may not be required in order to install, maintain, inspect, replace or service wireless alarm systems, the bill reduces the maximum charge for a uniform basic permit for a hardwired, low-voltage alarm system from $55 to $40. The bill deletes permit fee provisions that expired on January 1, 2015. The bill prohibits a local enforcement agency from requiring the payment of any additional amount associated with the installation or replacement of a hardwired, low-voltage alarm system. The bill authorizes local enforcement agencies to coordinate inspections with the owner or customer of low-voltage alarm system projects to ensure compliance with applicable codes and standards. However, the obligation to take corrective action if a project fails an inspection remains with the alarm system contractor.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2015.

Vote: Senate 36-0; House 115-0