CHAPEL HILL — If your home or business has an alarm system, now is the time to get registered, town officials say.
The Town Council approved the Accidental Alarm Program in October with the goal of reducing the number of false alarm calls that Chapel Hill police and firefighters answer each year. Registration is free.
Town officials have said 95 percent of the 5,000 calls police and firefighters answer each year are false alarms. The calls cost the town roughly $200,000 last year, they said. UNC’s roughly 128 campus alarms, which officials said generate a large number of false calls, also will be registered.
Existing alarms must be registered by May 15, and new alarms must be registered within 10 business days of operation. The town will issue warnings until July 1, when $100 fines will be levied for unregistered systems that trigger a false alarm. Four or more false alarms in a 365-day period will bring increasing fines of up to $500 for each violation.
Durham and Raleigh also regulate private alarm systems, although only Durham requires registration. The city fines users for more than one false alarm a month, and the police chief can disconnect a system, revoke its permit or require repairs and an inspection after four or more calls a month. The charge is $10 if an alarm system has not been registered.
Raleigh issues fines and requires an inspection for two false alarms in one year. The alarm company must modify the system or provide more user training after four false alarms. After eight alarms, or if the property owner fails to pay fines, police can stop responding.
Get more information or register your alarm system online at bit.ly/1iFhWLZ. Alarm systems also can be registered by calling toll-free 1-855-725-7107. Registration is free and includes user identification, alarm system specifications and the names of two people who can respond if the alarm is activated.