Protecting your home or business with a security alarm is a smart thing to do. All city businesses and residents must obtain an alarm permit for their alarm systems from the Asheville Police Department. This includes systems that do not use an alarm monitoring agency. It allows the police department to have the most current contact numbers in case someone associated with your property needs to be called as the result of an alarm.
How to apply for your permit
Please utilize the online registration process through Asheville’s False Alarm Reduction Program Prevention and Administration Site: https://www.crywolfservices.com/ashevillenc/
Penalties for failing to obtain a permit
If you do not have a permit, once you have had an alarm activation, you will be notified to apply for one. Beginning with the second alarm, and for all alarms thereafter, a fine of $100 will be assessed for each and every alarm, whether false or not, until a permit is obtained.
Penalties for false alarms
Lowering the number of false alarm responses helps the City of Asheville by allowing police officers to be available to answer emergency calls instead of being diverted on a false security alarm call where no action is necessary. With a smaller number of false alarm calls, officers will be available for actual emergencies and break-ins in progress. This will add to the safety and security of citizens as well as officers.
The City of Asheville’s False Alarm Ordinance addresses the penalties assessed for false burglar alarms. A false alarm is any activation of a burglar alarm system that prompts a response from the police department when there was no current situation requiring a police response. False alarms include any accidental, avoidable, and/or unnecessary activation that was caused by error or equipment malfunction. This does not include activation due to violent weather conditions.
If you have a false alarm, you are only charged once per 24-hour period or “alarm day.” No matter how many times your system activates during the 24-hour period (which begins with the first alarm) you are only penalized one time for that day.
False alarm fees
The false alarm fee schedule allows business and homeowner alarm holders two ‘free’ false alarm activations in a 12-month period. This 12-month period is from July 1 through June 30 and the alarms owner’s false alarm history resets to zero each July 1. The penalty schedule is listed below:
- 3-5 false alarm days: $50 per alarm
- 6-7 false alarm days: $100 per alarm
- 8-9 false alarm days: $250 per alarm
- 10 & over false alarm days: $500 per alarm
Get your system ready
To keep costs and billings to a minimum, we ask that all businesses and homeowners with burglar alarm systems do the following:
- Fill out and submit an alarm permit application with current information.
- Make sure that your alarm system is functioning properly and have it serviced regularly.
- Ensure that all authorized persons have the correct code for silencing and resetting your alarm.
- Contact your alarm monitoring company to verify your contact information.
Responding to an alarm
The Asheville Police Department wants you to understand what to do when responding to your alarm. If you have a key holder available to respond, please let them know that they should provide a cell phone number (if available) to the monitoring company when they are contacted. This way the information can be passed onto our dispatch center if further contact is needed. The policy of the Asheville Police Department is for the officers to meet with the key holder unless one of the following situations exists: 1) the officer has been dispatched on another call or 2) the response by the key holder is more than 20 minutes.
If the response is more than 20 minutes, the officer will meet with the key holder after they arrive at the alarm location, as long as the key holder contacts our dispatch center and lets them know he/she wants to meet with an officer. This procedure will allow us to provide you with the best and safest service possible.
Canceling your alarm
If you have accidentally set off your alarm and want to cancel it and not have the police respond, you will need to contact your monitoring company and provide them with whatever code is needed to cancel police response. All alarm calls that are canceled within one minute of the officer’s arrival to your home our business are considered officially canceled and do not count against the alarm holder as a false alarm.
Tips to reduce your false alarms
Choose any one of the following topics to discover what you can do to minimize the chances of having a false alarm. These tips a graciously provided by The False Alarm Reduction Association.
- Business False Alarm Prevention
- Residential False Alarm Prevention
- Alarms Caused by Animal Activation
The City of Asheville’s Alarm Ordinance defines a false alarm activation as: “means activation of an alarm by any means that elicits a response by a city emergency service when no situation requiring such a response does, in fact, exist. This includes accidental, avoidable, and unnecessary alarm activation due to user error, equipment malfunction, improper or unsuited equipment, but does not include alarm activation caused by violent conditions of nature or other extraordinary circumstances not reasonably subject to control by the alarm user or alarm business.”
The Alarm User may appeal an assessment of a false alarm fine to the Alarm Administrator by setting forth in writing the reasons for the appeal within ten (10) days of the notice. The appeal may be either emailed to ashevillenc@alarm‐billing.com or mailed to:
City of Asheville
PO Box 935989
The Alarm Administrator will render a decision in writing. Be sure to include the following with your appeal:
- Your name
- Your email address (if applicable)
- The alarm location
- Date of the false alarm
- Your account number
- Reasons for the appeal
- Any supporting evidence
Stephanie Bierce, Administrative Services Manager
100 Court Plaza, Asheville, NC, 28801
Mailing: P.O. Box 7148, Asheville, NC 28802
Office Hours: 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday-Friday