City Alarms Office
125 N. Main, Suite 1B-20
Monday – Friday | 8:30 A.M. - 4:30 P.M.
The Memphis Metro Alarm Ordinance/Office’s fundamental purpose is to reduce the number of false alarm call responses suffered by local law enforcement agencies each day and night, and bring about more efficient and effective response via alarm permit registration and user cooperation.
False alarms over the years have become a plague and in major cities like Memphis are an epidemic. The Metro Alarm Office aims to work with alarm operators (residents) to more responsibly use their alarm systems and with alarm companies to more reliably help service systems they sell. The desired outcome is to achieve more legitimate call responses and reduce the number of false alarms.
The revised ordinance has been effective as of January 1, 2020. Please take a second to look at the FAQ page for any questions regarding the rules under the current ordinance.
Changes and Responsibilities for Alarm Owners
Alarms provide a layer of security to keep your property safe from damage or theft. In 2020, 90% of all alarms recorded were false alarms. False alarms result in undue burden on Police and Fire personnel, monopolizing and diverting resources from citizens in need. Part of your responsibility as an alarm owner is to properly maintain your systems and ensure they are not “crying wolf” to your local law enforcement agency.
What is a false alarm?
The activation of an alarm system through mechanical failure, malfunction, improper installation or through the negligence of the owner or user of the alarm system, which activation results in a response by a law enforcement agency. This means an alarm is considered a false alarm when first responders arrive to an alarm incident and found no reasonable evidence of suspicious activity or a crime. Fines do not apply when a crime occurs.
To learn more about how to prevent false alarms, view the resources.
What is changing?
- Permitting Process
- False Alarm Prevention
- How to Register for an account
Permits are not transferable. Permits are required for all alarm systems in the city. Unpermitted systems may result in a reduced ability of service and will incur additional fees. Permitted alarm systems ensure your alarm occurrences are better tracked and help 911 communications deliver services more accurately. Permits are required prior to activation of an alarm monitoring service. Your alarm system should have an active permit on file before services are dispatched. The alarm installation company should review the permit process as well as fines.
Changes to the process require customers to register their own alarms. In the past, this may have been handled directly by your alarm company. It is now your responsibility as a customer to renew your permit annually. *
*Check with your alarm company to review your permit coverage. Some alarm companies may permit on your behalf. However, do not assume your alarm company will renew your permit.
If you already have an alarm, you likely already have a permit that just needs to be renewed annually. If you know your account number and invoice number, you may access your account at alarmspayments.memphistn.gov. If you do not know your login information, contact the Metro Alarms office at [email protected]
If you operate an unpermitted alarm system, you are subject to additional fees
- When does my permit expire?
- Permits issued in the first six months of the calendar year (between January and June) are due by June 30 of the following year.
- Permits expire annually on June 30th
- You will receive a renewal reminder notice annually by mail
- If you do not renew your permit, your alarm system will be considered unpermitted and subject to additional fees. Late payments will incur an additional fee.
- What are the costs for permits?
- Registration for new permits is $30 for residents and $60 for commercial businesses
- Renewals are $10 for residents and $25 for commercial business
- How do I know if I’m registered?
- Email [email protected]