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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.
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.
When the program was implemented, public safety officials looked at how limited resources were being used. Many hours were being spent investigating alarm reports that turned out to be accidental.
Yes. When the program was implemented, public safety officials looked at how limited resources were being used. Many hours were being spent investigating alarm reports that turned 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 includes 3-4 fire apparatus with up to 10 firefighters.
Do I have to register my car alarm?
No, car alarms do not need to be registered.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
What does the Town hope to accomplish by enforcing the accidental alarm ordinance?
The Town wants to substantially reduce the number of accidental alarms. When public safety officials respond to an accidental alarm, their ability to respond to an emergency may be limited or delayed.
What if I change alarm companies?
The account with which you register your alarm is based on your address. You do not need to re-register if you change alarm companies. However, you do need to re-register if you move.
What if I don't register and my alarm is activated accidentally?
Accidental alarms that occur at locations which have failed to register will result in a $100 fine.
If public safety officials respond to your residence or business for an accidental alarm and you have not registered it, you will be issued an invoice.
What if I move?
The account with which you register your alarm is based on your address. If you move, you need to update your information.
What if my alarm is activated accidentally?
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
When does this take effect?
The alarm ordinance took effect on January 1, 2014. Registrations are always accepted. Registration is not required on an annual basis but the town encourages alarm owners to update their contact information annually.
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.
Who can I contact if I have additional questions or comments about the ordinance?