September 14, 2020
Alarm systems and sensors play an important role in any home security setup. They’re vital to the safety of you, your home and its contents, and your family. They do need to be registered, which comes with fees. And sometimes, alarms trigger accidentally.
False alarms can happen for several reasons, ranging from user error by using a system incorrectly, or for forgetting to provide a pass code to a contractor or family member. Faulty equipment and wiring are also a common cause, as well as animals and pets that can trigger sensors. Make sure that equipment installers have accounted for animals when installing devices.
The last thing you want is police or fire units showing up to your house unwarranted. This is expensive for departments and yourself. But how much do false alarms and alarm registrations actually cost?
We’ll get started by covering how much alarm registration will cost you, since false alarms themselves can’t occur without an alarm.
In Austin, Texas, for example, a residential permit costs $50, and a business permit costs $110. This price remains the same whether the alarm is new or a renewal.
In Dallas, Texas, the price is almost the same. A residence costs $50 dollars, and a business costs $100.
In San Antonio, the fee for home is $40, but $30 for those aged 65 and above, and $100 for businesses.
Are you a homeowner or business owner from Omaha, Nebraska? The fee for a home permit is $25, while a business permit costs $50.
In Los Angeles, California, a permit fee costs $48 for both home and businesses, and $31 for renewals.
As you can see, registration prices usually vary for a home or a business. For the most part, they hover somewhere around the $30 – $50 range for homes and don’t usually go higher than $100 for a business.
The real expense of this alarm equation: the false alarm. It’s important to avoid false alarms because they can be fairly pricey. False alarm prices range per city, and some cities do have more lenient and first-time offense policies.
In Austin, three false alarms can occur before being charged. The fourth and fifth alarms cost $50 each, the sixth and seventh $75, and everything eight and above are $100. Other cities aren’t necessarily as friendly.
In Omaha, Nebraska, the first false alarm is free, the second and third offenses cost $100, and the fourth and above jump up to $250.
In Dallas, Texas, a permitted alarm site is allowed three free false alarms in one year. The fourth, fifth, and sixth false alarms are $50, seventh and eighth are $75, and the ninth and above are $100. If a panic or hold up false alarm occurs, it is $100 the first time. The second is $200, third is $300, and fourth plus are $400 each.
No one wants to have to deal with false alarms. They’re frustrating not just to you, but also to your neighbors and first-responders. But you should know what they’re going to cost you just in case one happens. In most cases, you can find your fees on your city’s official website or police department website.
For both alarm registration and false alarms, the price will vary by city. Alarms have to be registered, and if you’re found out to have skipped over setup (usually a false alarm informs you of this), then you will have to pay additional fines, sometimes up to $200.
False alarms are costly, especially if you’ve had multiple incidents. It’s important to check in with law enforcement and your city to find out rules, fees, and any other additional information regarding the occurrences.
If you take the proper precautions to avoid false alarms, including: cleaning, having the proper settings installed, secure wiring and system, and avoid mishaps by family members or children, you have a lower risk of having a false alarm.
Krista Bruton is a DFW-based writer who covers smart home security and consumer protection.
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