Alarm fines could start Wednesday in Steamboat |

Alarm fines could start Wednesday in Steamboat

City will send letter to offenders after month-long trial period

— Steamboat Springs’ fire marshal will be compiling a list of who’s been naughty and nice during the month-long trial period of the city’s nuisance alarm law.

Fire Marshal Jay Muhme said he will begin sending out letters to homes and businesses where false alarms have sounded in the past month. Those letters are intended to prepare property owners for fines that can be imposed beginning Wednesday.

The law to assess fines for false alarms officially began Aug. 1, but nuisance alarm owners and operators got a one-month warning period during which the false alarms were logged but fines were not assessed.

The grace period ends Wed­nesday, and anyone who received a warning during August will not get another warning. The fines start at $200 after two false alarms and increase by $100 for each subsequent offense.

Even without the fines, Muhme said owners are getting the message.

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“It seems like it’s maybe gotten a little bit better,” he said.

Muhme said that through letters sent out by his office and through articles in the Steam­boat Pilot & Today, it seems the number of false alarms have decreased in the past month.

Police records technician Christina Freeman said she didn’t have the number of alarms in August available Monday. Muhme said the figures should be available later this week.

Muhme said the law is designed to encourage alarm owners and operators to fix the alarm systems to reduce the number of false alarms police and emergency responders are called on. According to police statistics, 94 percent of the alarms police responded to in 2009 were false.

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