Alarm School Exam
In order to reduce false alarms, the Louisville Metro Council passed legislation in 2005 (LMCO Chapter 127) to license alarm users, alarm businesses, alarm technicians and to establish a progressive civil penalty fee for alarm users who have repeated false alarms and/or false hold-up alarms. Even though the number of false alarms has greatly reduced since the enactment of the ordinance, the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) responds to over 2,000 false burglar and false hold-up alarms monthly.
False alarms are a huge problem for LMPD because they divert police officers from responding to real crimes and emergencies. When your burglar alarm is activated, your alarm company should call you and ask for your passcode.
There are several factors that can send a false burglar alarm signal:
- Faulty or defective equipment
- Pets, spiders, rodents, wildlife
- Improper installation of system
- Power outages of more than four (4) hours
- People moving while the alarm system is armed
- Ceiling fans
- Unsecured magnets or contacts
- Items within the home that move (curtains, balloons)
- Spider webs near detectors
- Motion detectors need batteries
- Doors that are loose
- Doors/Windows are not secured
- Rearranged furniture
- Blinking lights
- Low battery (replace every 2-3 years)
- Mistakes by owners, employees, maintenance, cleaning crews, delivery crews, maids
There is a progressive fine for false burglar alarms:
|Number of Occurrences||Free|
|# of False Burglar Alarms||Civil Penalty Fee|
|13 & above||$300/each|
False Hold-Up Alarms
A hold-up/panic/duress alarm is defined as a hold-up in progress. If someone is fighting or stealing, you should not press your hold-up button. Instead you should call 911. Unlike a burglar alarm, whenever the alarm company receives these signals, they will not call you to verify the alarm due to a possible life threatening situation. The alarm company cannot call dispatch to cancel a hold-up/panic/duress call.
When an officer responds to a hold-up alarm, they will:
- Respond with lights & sirens active in the vehicle
- Have his/her firearm drawn
- Hold dispatch radio until alarm is cleared
- Respond with more than (1) officer in the beat (if available)
There is a progressive fine for false hold-up alarms:
|Number of Occurrences||Fee|
|# of False Hold-Up Alarms||Civil Penalty Fee|
|10 & above||$1,000/each|
The alarm user will be notified in the event of a false burglar alarm. Since it is the responsibility of your alarm company to register your alarm system, notifications will be mailed to the address sent to us by your alarm company. Should your account become delinquent for more than 80 days, a property lien will be placed on the property if the alarm user is also the property owner. Accounts delinquent more than 100 days will be turned over to the Jefferson County Attorney’s office for collection.
If you are going to be gone from your home/business for an extended period, you should notify your alarm company. If someone is going to be taking care of your home while you are away, notify the alarm company, instruct the caretaker on how to use your system, give them a passcode, and teach them how to cancel an alarm signal that is false. If you move to a new structure, you will not keep the same permit number with the LMPD. Your alarm company will be responsible for notifying us to close your old permit number and getting a new permit.
The alarm user can appeal all warning and/or citation notices. The written appeal must be completed within seven (7) days from the date we mail the notice.
The alarm company is responsible for registering your alarm system with the LMPD. They also can call dispatch to cancel an alarm if you know you have set the alarm off accidentally. If the alarm is canceled before the police officer arrives on scene, you will not be charged with a false alarm. Remember, a hold-up/panic/duress alarm cannot be canceled.
If you are in need for more time to activate or deactivate your system, the alarm company can reset your control panel to allow more time to perform these functions.
To prevent false signals your alarm system should be serviced every year. If you are experiencing problems with your system, or you need additional education, please call your alarm company.
If you experience a power outage, your battery back-up system should last a minimum of 4 hours. The battery should be replaced every 2 to 3 years.