False Alarm Reduction Program
The overall goal of the False Alarm Reduction Program is to reduce the false alarm incident workload through cooperation with the alarm industry and the public while ensuring that police resources are effectively deployed.
What is a False Alarm?
Under City of Belleville Bylaw 2006-34 , a "false alarm" is defined as:
"any alarm the activation of which results in police attending the premises at which the alarm is located, where there has not been any unauthorized into the premises and includes the activation of the alarm by testing, malfunction or by accident."
A "response" is defined as "the attendance by the Belleville police Service to a false alarm.?
Why a False Alarm Reduction Program?
With the continuing growth of the use of security alarm systems in homes and businesses, police services in many jurisdictions are faced with the challenge of attending to false alarm incidents in huge numbers. Many jurisdictions in Canada have implemented False Alarm Reduction Programs to reduce the number of false alarm calls their police members are being dispatched to, and to reduce the financial costs associated with attending false alarms.
The Program is designed to reduce one of the most significant misuses of police resources and free up officers for legitimate calls for service. Out of the alarm calls received, only a very small percentage are the result of a criminal offence; the other percentage are false due to a number of factors, including user error or malfunction of the alarm system.
Belleville Police Service False Alarm Program
With the implementation of the False Alarm Reduction Program in 2005, we experienced a drop in alarm calls for service. The success in reducing calls has continued. In 2006, the Belleville Police Service attended 1829 false alarm calls for service, 2009 - 1480 incdents, and in 2018 there were 864 incidents and 247 warnings issued for a total of $6200 in fines.
This success is no doubt a result of the continuing efforts from the public and the security alarm industry professionals. The Belleville Police Service continues to monitor the False Alarms for the City of Belleville.
Excessive False Alarm Fee
Under the City of Belleville Bylaw 2006-34, an excessive false alarm fee is payable by the owner of any premises after the second and all subsequent false alarms from those premises during any calendar year.
Excessive False Alarm Fee
Fourth and over
The exception to the Bylaw would be:
- Instances where the alarm was caused by an illegal entry or any attempt at illegal entry to the premise
- Alarm caused by severe weather or major electrical disruption
What should you do if you have a False Alarm?
- You need to determine WHY the false alarm occurred.
- If it is a USER error, make sure that all users are properly trained on how to properly operate the system. This will include all third party users such as cleaners, subcontractors, etc. Contact your alarm company if you need further training on the system.
- You should contact your alarm company after every false alarm whether the police have attended or not. Your alarm company should be able to supply you with detailed information about the alarm.
- Find out: how many zones were activated and what zones those were
- Which key-holders were contacted and make sure they are up to date
- What verification procedures were used by the monitoring station?
This information should help you and your alarm company in determining what action should be taken to prevent further false alarms.