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CS/HB 241 — Alarm Systems

by Local, Federal and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee; Agriculture and Property Rights Subcommittee; Rep. Williamson and others (CS/CS/CS/SB 190 by Rules Committee; Community Affairs Committee; Regulated Industries Committee; and Senator Perry

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 revises s. 489.529, F.S., effective October 1, 2017, to:

  • Require residential or commercial intrusion and burglary alarms that have central monitoring have a second verification call made to “a telephone number associated with the premises” generating the alarm signal, if the first verification call is not answered, prior to contacting law enforcement.

  • Create an exception to current verification calling requirements for a customer who is federally licensed as a manufacturer, importer, or dealer of firearms or ammunition. Eligible customers may notify the alarm monitoring company that the customer would like to bypass the two-call verification requirement, thereby allowing the central monitoring station to contact law enforcement agencies without making a verification call. The bill requires an alarm monitoring company to make reasonable efforts, upon initiating a new alarm monitoring service contract, to inform eligible customers of the right to opt out of the two-call verification requirement.

The bill also revises s. 553.793, F.S., concerning streamlined low-voltage alarm system installation permitting, to include a new or existing low-voltage electric fence as a “low-voltage alarm system project.” A low-voltage electric fence is composed of an alarm system (a device used to detect a burglary, fire, robbery, or medical emergency) consisting of a fence structure and an energizer powered by a commercial storage battery not exceeding 12 volts that produces an electric charge upon contact with the fence structure. The ancillary components or equipment that may be attached to an alarm system or low-voltage electric fence are revised to include closed-circuit television systems, access controls, and battery-recharging devices.

A low-voltage electric fence: 1) must produce a limited electric charge; 2) must be completely enclosed by a nonelectric fence or wall; 3) may be up to 2 feet higher than the perimeter nonelectric fence or wall; 4) must be identified with attached warning signs not more than 60 feet apart; 5) may not be installed in areas zoned exclusively for single-family or multi-family residential use; and 6) may not enclose portions of a property which are used for residential purposes. No further permit may be required for a low-voltage alarm system project composed of a low-voltage electric fence that meets all of the above requirements.

If approved by the Governor, except as otherwise expressly provided in the act, these provisions take effect upon becoming law.

Vote: Senate 36-0; House 119-0