The City of Rockford’s False Alarm Ordinance was instituted to assist in providing a safer environment for everyone and requires owners of monitored security systems to register their system with the City. An alarm permit is required of all monitored alarm systems within the City.
Registering your system and purchasing the permit does not relieve you of your responsibility to properly maintain and use your alarm system. This permit does provide you with four no fine false alarms in a rolling twelve month period. Five or more false alarms within a rolling 12-month period will result in the following fines: From 5 to 8 false alarms = $100 per false alarm
For false alarms 9 & 10 = $200 per false alarm
More than 10 false alarms = $300 per false alarm
Here is an example of how the rolling 12-month cycle works:
Let’s say you registered your alarm system in January 2011 and in that month you had one false alarm. Then in February, March and April of 2011 you had one false alarm in each month. That’s four false alarms in four months. One more and you are subject to a fine. Your next false alarm doesn’t occur until January 2012. Because the 12-month period is rolling, you still have four false alarms, not one. The false alarm that you had in January 2011 gets dropped because that happened 13 months ago and no longer applies to your 12-month period.
If You Get A False Alarm
If a user has a false alarm, the responding department will notify the Finance Department of the incident. The Finance Department will send notification of the false alarm to the alarm owner. If the false alarm falls within the allowed four false alarms in a 12 month period, the notification will be sent with a zero balance due. If the false alarm is the fifth or higher within the 12 month period, the notification will list the balance due. Payment can be mailed or paid in person at the City Hall Payment Center, 425 E State St.
Preventing False Alarms
An alarm owner can follow a few tips to prevent excessive false alarms and unnecessary emergency service dispatch. First, train all alarm users on how to properly engage and disengage the system. A number of false alarms are caused by users who are improperly trained. The alarm company should provide adequate training on how the system functions, make sure that all potential users understand the process. If you do have a false alarm, you have two to three minutes to disarm your system before emergency responders are notified. Also, maintain the system properly so as to avoid any system malfunctions. Not only will that prevent false alarms, but will also assure that your alarm system works in the event of a real emergency.
If you have additional questions regarding the false alarm ordinance, please call the City of Rockford at 815-987-8077.