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To improve public safety and manage Town safety resources wisely, the Accidental Alarm Program and its associated ordinance set civil penalties for excessive accidental alarms (four or more within a permit year) and failure to obtain permits. Annual registration is required for both commercial and residential alarms.
An accidental alarm is any signal that solicits a response from Police or Fire departments to which the responding units find no evidence of fire or products of combustion or medical emergency or no evidence of unauthorized intrusion, robbery, or other such crime in or on premises. Accidental alarm activations can occur as a result of malfunctioning equipment, human error or environmental conditions.
Public safety resources are limited and many hours are spent investigating alarm reports that turn out to be accidental. In 2012, the Police Department responded to 3,630 alarm calls at a cost of $75,213. In 2012, the Chapel Hill Fire Department responded to 1,250 alarm activations at a cost of $122,400. Police Department routine alarm responses include at least two officers while Fire Department response include three to four fire apparatus with up to 10 firefighters. About 95 percent of alarm dispatches turn out to be unfounded.
HOW DO I REGISTER MY ALARM?
Registration is free and convenient. Register online here or call toll-free 1-855-725-7107 to register by phone.
WHO IS REQUIRED TO HAVE AN ALARM PERMIT/LICENSE?
Everyone operating an alarm system inside the Town limits is required to register their commercial or residential alarm system.
WHEN DOES THIS TAKE EFFECT?
The alarm ordinance took effect on January 1, 2014. Registrations will be accepted starting May 1, 2014. Penalties for unregistered alarms will begin July 1, 2014. Registration will be required on an annual basis.
I HAVE AN ALARM SYSTEM THAT IS NOT MONITORED BY A VENDOR AND ONLY ALERTS ME OF AN ACTIVATION IF I AM AT HOME. DO I HAVE TO REGISTER THE ALARM?
Any alarm that could result in a response from the Police or Fire departments must be registered to comply with the ordinance.
I CAN’T FIND MY ALARM COMPANY ON THE DROP DOWN LIST ON THE ALARM REGISTRATION PAGE. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
The drop down list of alarms is optional. You do not have to select one, but we encourage you to pick the company that most closely matches your provider.
I HAVE BEEN ASKED TO PROVIDE A PASSCODE OR PASSWORD FOR REGISTRATION. IS THIS THE PASSCODE I USE FOR MY ALARM?
No. The passcode or password is only used to allow access to the Chapel Hill Alarm Registration website.
WHERE DO THE REGISTRATION FEES AND ALARM SERVICE FEES GO?
The fees are deposited in the Town General Fund and are used to offset the Town’s costs of the program.
ARE ACCIDENTAL ALARMS A PROBLEM?
Yes. In 2012, the Police Department responded to 3,630 alarm calls at a cost of $75,213. In 2012, the Chapel Hill Fire Department responded to 1,250 alarm activations at a cost of $122,400. Police department routine alarm responses include at least two officers while Fire Department response includes 3-4 fire apparatus with up to 10 firefighters.
WHAT DOES THE TOWN HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH BY ENFORCING THE ACCIDENTAL ALARM ORDINANCE?
The Town wants to substantially reduce the number of accidental alarms.
WILL I BE CHARGED FOR ALARM ACTIVATIONS THAT ARE NOT ACCIDENTAL?
No, you will never be charged for an alarm activation that is not accidental. This ordinance allows charges for accidental alarms only.
WHAT IF MY ALARM IS ACTIVATED ACCIDENTLY?
Accidental alarm activations within a 365 day period will result as follows:
4 & 5 $100 each
6 & 7 $200 each
8 & 9 $300 each
10+ $500 each
WHAT IF I DON'T REGISTER AND MY ALARM IS ACTIVATED ACCIDENTLY?
Accidental alarms that occur at locations which have failed to register will result in a $100 fine.
WHAT IF I REGISTER AFTER THE JULY 1 DEADLINE?
As long as your alarm is registered prior to any accidental activation, you will not receive a fine for failing to register.
DO I HAVE TO REGISTER MY CAR ALARM?
No, car alarms do not need to be registered.
I’VE BECOME SUSPENDED, HOW DO I REINSTATE MY PERMIT?
If your account has become suspended you will be required to pay all outstanding fees and fines, including any late or returned payment fees. You will also be charged a $100 reinstatement fee.
WHO CAN I CONTACT IF I HAVE ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS ABOUT THE ORDINANCE?
Call Police Lt. Mitch McKinney at 919-968-2764 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHO CAN I CONTACT IF I HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE REGISTRATION PROCESS?