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Changes and Responsibilities for Alarm Owners

Alarms provide a layer of security to keep your property safe from damage or theft. In 2016, 99% 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 law enforcement agencies respond to an alarm incident and found no reasonable evidence of suspicious activity or a crime. 

To learn more about how to prevent false alarms, view the resources.

Alarm Changes 

Attention: The rules for alarm customers and false alarms are changing

Under the revised ordinance, effective January 1, 2020, the following are fines and penalties for false alarms.  

What is changing?

  1. Permitting Process
  2. Fees
  3. Ordinance

Permits

Permits are required for all alarm systems. Unpermitted systems may result in reduced ability of service and will incur additional fees. Permitted alarms 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.

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 what 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 alarmpayments.memphistn.gov. If you do not know your login information, contact the Metro Alarms office at alarmquestions@memphistn.gov

If you operate an unpermitted alarm system, you are subject to additional fees

  • Link to Permit Registration FAQ’s
  • When does my permit expire?
    • Permits expire annually on June 30th
      • Permits issued in the first six months of the calendar year (between January and June) are due by June 30 of the following year.
    • 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 alarmquestions@memphistn.gov

 

Fees

See the FAQs for more details

Some fees may be incurred prior to activation.

Cost of Alarms Fee Table

No. of False Alarms Dispatched for Police for permitted alarms

Action Taken

Fine

Fees

1

Written Notice

No Fine

No Fees

2-6

Written Notice

$50.00

Cost of Service

7 or more

Written Notice, potential revocation of permit, ordinance and/or board summons, future alarms may be considered false in nature and may require additional confirmation prior to response

$50.00

Cost of services + court costs and fines

No. of Unintentional Dispatches for Fire

Action Taken

Fine

Fees

1

Written Notice

No Fine

No Fees

2 or more

Written Notice and/or board summons

$50.00

Cost of service + court costs and fines

No. Hold Up Alarms for permitted systems

Action Taken

Fine

Fees

1

Written Notice

No Fine

No Fees

 

2 or more

Written Notice

$50.00

Cost of service + additional resource service cost

2019 Fire Cost of Service $250 per call; 2019 Police Cost of Service; $90 per call

Ordinance
View the full ordinance

False Alarm Prevention
How can I help prevent false alarms?
False Alarm Resources

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