Do You Need a Permit for Your Home Alarm System?

What you need to know about filing a permit for your home security system.


April 14, 2020

Neighborhood 01

It’s easy to think that once you’ve installed your home alarm system, you’re completely covered. But for many parts of the country, the next step in home protection is filing a permit. In fact, many cities and communities require a permit in order for local first responders to answer a distress call. If you’re wondering whether you need one or more permits for your security setup, you’re not alone. Here’s a brief guide to help you determine where you stand with alarm ordinances.

What is an alarm permit?

An alarm permit is a registration of your alarm system with your local responding agencies. In many municipalities, a permit is required if you have a security alarm that is audible and/or monitored. It allows police to respond in an emergency. Alarm permit prices vary by location or property type, such as commercial or residential, and will come equipped with a security number. This number will help authorities verify that the distress signal is warranted, enabling them to respond quickly in an emergency.

How does it work?

Typically, you need to file a form, agree to its terms, and pay an annual fee to your local municipality to have a permitted alarm. Depending on where you live, a mandatory permit usually costs between $50 - $100. They can be approved on a one-time basis or are subject to annual renewals, and local laws may also require you to file separate permits for security and fire/medical alarms. You can easily check policies in your area through a quick visit to your city’s website or by calling your local county office.

Why do I need one?

Most major cities and even counties require home security system owners to have an alarm permit before sending emergency personnel, largely to prevent false alarms. In fact, many local governments use a “no permit, no response” policy — meaning that they won’t respond to an alarm if you don’t have the proper permit. Without these permits, emergency services cannot dispatch to your location if you aren’t home when your alarm goes off. You may also need to pay a fine after a certain number of false alarms. When recorded by an unregistered system, these false alarm fines can increase drastically with each incidence. Failure to file the appropriate permit can incur hefty fees as well.

Where can I get a permit?

Your local city hall or county office will generally have the alarm permit application forms available. You can also check your city’s website to see if you can apply online. After your application is approved, your permit will be delivered via mail or email. Like most other government-issued forms, the permit will have an expiration date, so be sure to keep your license current.

How Brinks Home™ can help

If you have questions about getting a permit for an alarm home system, feel free to contact one of our security professionals. In most areas, you need to provide the name of your monitoring company, as well as the type of system you have. A certificate of monitoring is included when you have a Brinks Home system, which can help you expedite your permit process.

Know that you’re protected when your alarm goes off by having a professionally monitored system that’s properly permitted with your city. And take pride in your smart home security when you get a professionally installed, diligently monitored Brinks Home system.

Lauren Slade is Dallas-based writer and editor.

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