Alarm Systems Program

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Why do we need an Alarm Systems Program?

Many communities across the country struggle with responding limited police resources to false alarms triggered by private security systems. In 2013, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) responded to 869 alarms in the Town of Queen Creek. Of those, 592 or 68% were determined to be false alarms. False alarms divert resources from responding to other emergency calls for service and directed patrol activities

The purpose of the Alarm Systems Ordinance is to reduce the number of repetitive false alarms that MCSO deputies respond to by encouraging alarm users to maintain their alarm system and promote the proper use of the system. 

Ordinance

The Alarm Systems Ordinance was adopted by the Queen Creek Town Council on November 19, 2014. It was designed to reduce the number of repetitive false alarms.

Do I need to permit my alarm system?

No. A permit to have an alarm system is not required by the Alarm Systems Ordinance.

It does not apply to motor vehicle alarms, fire alarms or medical response alarms.

What is a false alarm?

The Alarm Systems Ordinance Section 18-3-1 defines a false alarm as “The activation of an alarm system through mechanical or electronic failure, malfunction, improper alarm use, his/her employees or agents, and signals activated to summon law enforcement personnel unless law enforcement response was cancelled by the alarm user or his/her agent before law enforcement personnel arrive at the alarm location. An alarm is false within the meaning of this article when, upon inspection by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO), evidence indicates that no unauthorized entry, robbery, or other such crime was committed or attempted in or on the premises which would have activated a properly functioning alarm system. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a false alarm shall not include an alarm which can reasonably be determined to have been caused or activated by an electrical storm.

Excessive False Alarm Assessments

There is no charge for the first and second false alarms in a floating 365 day period. You will receive a notification from the Alarm Program that you had a false alarm.

You will be charged a false alarm service fee for three or more false alarms.

Excessive False Alarm Assessments

False Alarm
Service Fee

 3rd

$50

 4th

$100

 5th

$150

 6th

 $200

 7th

$250

 8th

$300

 9th

 $350
10th or more
 $400


Failure to pay the false alarm service fees in a timely manner will result in all unpaid service fees being sent to a collections service.

Exemptions

Alarms resulting from a criminal act or attempted criminal act will never be assessed a service fee.

Alarms resulting from acts of nature such as an electrical storm will not be assessed a service fee.

Will the police stop responding to my alarm?

No. The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office will always respond to alarms from your residence or business. If the alarm is determined to be false, you will continue to be assessed the false alarm service fee.

How do I know a Sheriff’s Deputy responded to my alarm and I am not being charged just because my alarm company called?

The Alarm Systems Program receives dispatch information on all alarm dispatches. If you have any questions regarding the response to your alarm, please contact the Alarm Coordinator by email at AlarmCoordinator@queencreek.com

The three most common causes of false alarms are user errors, installation or service errors and equipment failures.

Tips on how to prevent false alarms:

  • Teach EVERYONE who has a key how to properly turn your alarm on and off (including the housekeeper, babysitter, real estate agent). Include instructions on how to cancel a false alarm.
  • Make sure a phone is accessible and within hearing range of anyone who will use your alarm system (in the case of an intrusion alarm your alarm company is required by law to attempt to call you and verify an alarm signal before dispatching the police).
  • Notify your alarm company of ALL changes you make, including phone upgrades, changes in responsible parties (individuals to notify in the case of an alarm), new business hours, and additional key holders.
  • Get your system tested regularly, and get potentially faulty equipment repaired or replaced IMMEDIATELY! Be sure to replace your batteries at least once a year.
  • Be sure that everyone (including your pet) is out of the monitored zones prior to engaging your alarm, or make sure to turn your system to "stay" mode. If you have indoor pets, talk to your alarm company about "pet-proof" sensors and other options.
  • If your alarm gets activated by storms or wind, have your alarm company make the required sensitivity adjustments.
  • Do not leave anything that may move in a monitored room. This includes plants, balloons, flags, and other decorations which may be affected by the ventilation system.
  • If your fireplace is in use, make sure that any motion detectors in that area are bypassed.
  • Make sure ALL windows and doors are securely CLOSED and LOCKED. If something won't secure properly, DO NOT set the alarm (this includes loose-fitting, damaged, or warped doors and windows).
  • Upgrade old alarm systems to current equipment conforming to Security Industry Association (SIA) false alarm prevention standards.