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Accidental Alarm Program

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Click here to register your alarms today.

It's free and convenient

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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. 

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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.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions


Agenda Items


Expand/Contract Questions and Answers

  • How do I register my alarm?

  • Who does this effect?

  • When does this take effect?

  • 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?

  • I can’t find my alarm company on the drop down list on the alarm registration page. What should I do?

  • I have been asked to provide a passcode or password for registration. Is this the passcode I use for my alarm?

  • Where do the registration fees and alarm service fees go?

  • Are accidental alarms a problem?

  • What does the Town hope to accomplish by enforcing the accidental alarm ordinance?

  • Will I be charged for alarm activations that are not accidental?

  • What if my alarm is activated accidentally?

  • What if I don't register and my alarm is activated accidentally?

  • Do I have to register my car alarm?

  • I’ve become suspended, how do I reinstate my permit?

  • Who can I contact if I have additional questions or comments about the ordinance?

  • Who can I contact if I have questions about the registration process?

  • What if I move?

  • What if I change alarm companies?

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