The Boy Who Cried Wolf

False panic alarms are problematic. EPD responded to 137 panic alarms in the last year. Of the 137 panic alarms, EPD took 5 reports so 132 of the alarms were false or accidental. In other words 96.4% of all panic alarms were false.  EPD dispatches three officers to each panic alarm as it is an emergency call for service. Panic alarms, often called stick up alarms, are for things like armed robbery or violence in progress.

Of the false panic alarms in Eureka, 19 business accounted for 54% of all false alarms. According to Community Development Director, Rob Holmlund, there are about 2,267 businesses with a permit in Eureka. Of those 25% are home businesses and 80% have five or fewer employees (450 businesses).  That leaves 450 +/- businesses with five or more employees.  Based on those numbers 4.3% of all businesses are responsible for 54% of false panic alarms.  So…what are we going to do about it?

  • EPD will continue to respond to panic and burglar alarms.
  • EPD is working with the City to reform and clean up the false alarm ordinance.
  • EPD is writing a letter to the abusers of the panic alarm system and suggesting they fix the problem: install covers, color for recognition, move the alarm button to secure location, two step trigger, or discipline employees who abuse the alarm.

So when the boy who cried wolf too many times screams help when the wolf truly at the door, EPD wants you to know we are still coming code 3.  You need to know you are hurting yourself and this fabulous community.

So the business with a record 24 false alarms (18% of the total)…lets fix the problem.

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