Frequently Asked Questions
Fines allow the City to recover a portion of the costs associated with responding to false alarms. Responding to false alarms negatively impacts our ability to deal with real crime problems and provide proactive crime prevention. False alarms are preventable. Those who have alarm systems have made a choice to accept the responsibility to prevent false alarms.
False alarm means an alarm system that emits a light or sound or transmits a signal or message resulting in a response by public safety officers when the situation does not require a public safety response. False alarms caused as a result of power failures, power surges, or acts of nature not the fault of the alarm user or system subscriber or the alarm business shall not be considered to be a false alarm. Excessive false alarms are defined as more than 2 false alarms within a 365 day period at a permitted site, and any false alarm at a non-permitted site.
Your agreement with your alarm company is a private contract. The police are not obligated to respond to alarms, but we do so whenever possible.
Many other cities charge for responding to false alarms. Responding to false alarms is a police service that primarily benefits the alarm company. Alarm Associations nationwide advocate charging for false alarms to encourage false alarm reduction and to recover costs incurred by the police when responding to alarms.
*Submit a written request/statement as to why you feel the charge and/or occurrence should be waived or removed from your account, along with any supporting documentation (police reports, alarm company documentation, etc)
*Submit via email using the Contact Us page.
*Be sure to include Permit License #, alarm location address, and incident date(s) in question.
*Submit within fifteen (15) calendar days of the notice imposing the charge.
Like any unpaid bill from the city, it will go to collections.
Unpermitted false alarm fee = $300.00 The first two false alarms will be waived if permit fees are paid within 30 days.
An alarm owner can follow a few tips to prevent excessive false alarms and unnecessary emergency service dispatch. First, train all alarm users on how to properly engage and disengage the system. A number of false alarms are caused by users who are improperly trained. The alarm company should provide adequate training on how the system functions, make sure that all potential users understand the process. If you do have a false alarm, you have two to three minutes to disarm your system before emergency responders are notified. Also, maintain the system properly so as to avoid any system malfunctions. Not only will that prevent false alarms, but will also assure that your alarm system works in the event of a real emergency.
You can read the entire alarm ordinance and revisions here. In addition, your alarm company is required to supply you with a copy of the new, revised ordinance.