When an alarm is activated in a home or business, the alarm company is notified. The party who is notified next has been pre-determined by the alarm company and the owner of the building. In many cases the owner has requested that the alarm company call the Police Department first. In other cases, the owner has requested to be notified by the alarm company prior to calling Police.
Once Police have been notified, they respond to the building and assess the situation. In the majority of cases, the alarm is determined to be false – there is no intruder. Instead the alarm has been accidentally tripped by a family member, houseguest, animal or some kind of system malfunction.
Recognizing that alarm systems are subject to both technological and human error, the City will allow three free false alarms per calendar year. After that, in an effort to encourage alarm holders to fix whatever problem is causing the false alarm, the City will charge $100 for the fourth false alarm, $200 for the fifth false alarm and $300 for the sixth and any consecutive false alarms occurring in the same calendar year.