An alarm system can bring you a sense of security and peace of mind. It is an effective crime deterrent with proper installation, adequate training, and regular maintenance.
Many alarm systems work in the following manner; 1) When an entry or attempted entry is made into an area, building or room which is monitored by an alarm system, a signal is sent to the alarm's monitoring center. Once the monitoring center has determined the police need to respond, they will call the police department which services the address in question.
If you live or own a business in the city of Azusa, and you have an alarm system, you are required to have an alarm permit, per the Azusa Municipal Code.
The national average for false alarms per alarm user each year is less than one. The national average for commercial and residential combined is .85 or just under 1 dispatch per system per year. Broken down that is an average of 1 dispatch every four years for residential and 1.15 for commercial.
The City's Intention
The city wants to substantially reduce the number of false alarms that the police department handles. Results from other cities that hold the alarm user accountable for the maintenance and operation of their alarm systems have successfully reduced the number of false alarm calls.
Purpose Of The Policy
The city is handling more than 950 false alarm calls a year. If the Police Department continued with the same alarm response policy over the next three years, officers would respond to over 2,900 alarm calls, of which more than 98% are false. This is very costly to all the city taxpayers.
A number of jurisdictions across the nation and in the local area have also adopted false alarm ordinances as a way to reduce their false alarms.
Register An Alarm / Pay Fee
Click here to visit the City of Azusa's Alarm Permit Program website to register your alarm or pay an alarm citation fee.
Frequently Asked Questions
Find answers to popular questions below. If you don't see your question, ask it in our forum or call (877) 503-6728.
How Do I Obtain An Alarm Permit?
How Much Does A Permit Cost?
Normal FeesThe fees for an alarm registration or an alarm registration renewal are as follows:
- Registration or Renewal Fee (Residential) : $25.00
- Registration or Renewal Fee (Commercial): $25.00
Discounts For Seniors Or The DisabledReduced rates for senior citizens (Age 65 years or older) and individuals with permanent disability are:
- Residential: Registration or renewals: $12.00
- Commercial: Registration or renewals: $12.00
In order to qualify for the senior rate, applicants must provide the proof of age, be listed as property owner of lessee, and must have alarm contract in their name. In order to qualify as an individual with permanent disability, the individual must provide proof of permanent disability. If a registration or renewal is not paid within 30 days, there will be a late fee of $25.00 added to the amount due. An alarm permit cannot be transferred to another person or location.
Can My Alarm Permit Be Suspended?
- The police department responds to (4) or more false burglar alarms within a (1) year time period.
- Failure to pay invoice within (90) days from the invoice date.
How Do I Appeal A Suspension?
The applicant, Alarm User, Alarm Installation Company or Alarm Monitoring Company may appeal any action described in subsection (A) above to the Police Chief (or his or her designee) by setting forth in writing the reasons for the appeal and delivering the appeal to the Police Chief (or designee) within twenty (20) business days after receipt of notice of the action. Failure to deliver the appeal within that time period is a waiver of the right to appeal.
The procedure for an appeal to the Police Chief (or designee) is as follows:
- The applicant, Alarm User, Alarm Installation Company or Monitoring Company may file a written request for appeal by paying an appeal fee and setting forth the reasons for the appeal. The appeal must be entitled "Appeal from Alarm Administrator's Action." The appeal fee shall be in an amount established by resolution of the city council and will be returned to the appealing party if the appeal is successful.
- The Police Chief (or designee) shall conduct a hearing on the appeal within thirty (30) days after the Police Department’s receipt of the request for appeal and appeal fee and shall consider the evidence submitted by the appealing party and the Alarm Administrator. The Police Chief (or designee) must base the decision on the preponderance of evidence presented at the hearing and must render a decision within fifteen (15) days after the date of the hearing. The decision shall affirm or reverse the decision or action taken by the Alarm Administrator.
- Filing of an appeal stays any action by the Alarm Administrator to suspend an Alarm Registration or require the payment of a fee or fine until the appeal process has been exhausted. This provision applies only to the action of the Alarm Administrator that is the subject of the appeal. This provision does not operate as a bar to enforcement action on violations of this section that occur thereafter.
- Evidence that a False Alarm was caused by action of a communications services provider (i.e. telephone, cellular, cable company);
- Evidence that a False Alarm was caused by a power outage of more than four (4) hours or severe weather such as a tornado or earthquake;
- Evidence that an Alarm Dispatch Request was not a False Alarm;
- The occurrence of multiple alarms within a 24 hour period, which may be considered as one False Alarm if the Alarm User has taken corrective action, unless the False Alarms are directly caused by the Alarm User.
- The Alarm Administrator may waive all or part of a False Alarm fine due to extenuating circumstances or to encourage corrective action with supervisor approval.
How Do I Get My Alarm Reinstated?
- Pay a reinstatement fee of $100.00
- Pay all outstanding fines/fees
- Submit a work order verifying that the alarm system has been inspected/repaired (if applicable).
- Complete an online alarm user awareness class and test
- Pay a reinstatement fee of $100.00
- Pay all outstanding fines/fees
How Much Is The False Alarm Service Fee?
An Alarm user shall be subject to fines, depending on the number of false alarms within a permit year, based upon the following schedule:
Residential/ Commercial - Permit Holder for Burglary False Alarms:
- 1st False Alarm: $50 (Amount will be waived if online course is attended by the alarm user within 30 days of the invoice date)
- 2nd False Alarm: $75
- 3rd False Alarm: $125
- 4th False Alarm: $175
- 5th False Alarm: $225
- 6th False Alarm and above: $275 each
Residential/ Commercial - Permit Holder for Robbery/Panic False Alarms:
- $100 each
Residential/ Commercial - Non-Permit Holder for Burglary and Robbery/Panic:
- 1st False Alarm: $150
- 2nd False Alarm: $175
- 3rd False Alarm: $225
- 4th False Alarm: $275
- 5th False Alarm: $325
- 6th False Alarm and above: $375 each
*Suspended locations will be subject to higher fines/penalties
** An additional late fee of $25 will be charged if the invoice is not paid within 30 days of the invoice date.
Who Do I Call If I Have Questions?
What Is Enhanced Call Verification (ECV)?
The alarm industry developed Enhanced Call Verification (ECV) as an effective way to avoid sending law enforcement to a false alarm. It requires that your alarm company make at least two separate calls in verifying your alarm systems activation signal (on burglar alarms only) prior to contacting the Police. Your alarm company will first call your home or business where your alarm is occurring and if they fail to contact a responsible party they will then call a second number that you have provided them such as a cell phone number. The whole process usually takes less than 60 to 90 seconds.
As the alarm user, you are familiar with any type of activity occurring at the alarm site such as guests, home repairs, cleaning crews, real estate agents, employees opening or closing times etc. This gives you two or more opportunities to cancel accidental alarm activations before requesting a Police response.
Many alarm companies and monitoring centers have voluntarily implemented ECV on their own since it has proven to reduce false alarms and help their customers avoid false alarm. You can contact your alarm company to request ECV and provide additional contact phone numbers for responsible parties.