Alarm System Permit

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In the old days you could call up your local alarm system installer and set up a time for them to install and alarm system in your home. Well that was then and this is now. In almost every city across the United States you must have an alarm system permit. In most cases you are required to have a permit even if your system is not monitored. Frankly I can understand to some degree the requirement to have your system registered if it can automatically have the police or fire departments dispatched. But I do not understand the requirement to have a system permitted that is a local system with no outside monitoring company.

Alarm Fees

Most City Governments require an initial fee and also a recurring annual fee. This does vary according to your city. I have seen some cities that only require a onetime fee. The costs range from ten dollars up to one hundred dollars for the initial fee and the recurring fee will be a fraction of the startup cost. Many cities are charging a hefty fee if the authorities are dispatched to your home and you do not have a valid permit.

False Alarm Fines

There is no standard fee for false alarms. You will need to check with your local municipality to see the fines that may be imposed in your area. The one issue in common is that you will be charged at some point if your alarm system continues to generate false alarms. It is in your best interest no matter where you live to have a properly working alarm system. Typically there is 1-3 false alarms allowed and after that you will be charged. These charges can be hundreds of dollars in fines. Some cities will have a graduated fee schedule. This means that you are fined more each time that your alarm system generates a false alarm.

Full Alarm Verification

False alarms have become such a nuisance over the years that city government has instituted additional requirements that must be followed before the police will dispatch. This can be a requirement in some cites regardless of whether or not you have ever had a false alarm. In most cities the full verification of an alarm is only after you have had multiple false alarms. Typically full alarm verification means that not only has the alarm system been triggered but the attempted burglary has been witnessed firsthand. The confirmation can be made in any of the following ways:

  • Onsite or remote observation by the User
  • Onsite or remote observation by the alarm company
  • Onsite or remote observation by a third party near the location
  • Onsite or remote observation by a private guard service

Summary of Potential Fees

Although there is no standard when requiring alarm permits the following list is more typical than not.

  • Cities require an alarm permit
  • Alarm permits require an initial filing fee
  • Alarm permits require a annual fee
  • Cities will charge additional fees for excessive false alarms
  • Cities will fine alarm system owners if they fail to file for a required alarm permit
  • Some cities may require full alarm verification
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