The Glen Rock Borough Ordinance Regarding Alarms
Guidelines for Purchasing an Alarm
Is there a value to owning an alarm system?
Yes, an alarm system can bring you a sense of security and peace of mind and is effective with proper installation, adequate training and regular maintenance.
Are false alarms a problem?
Yes they are. Across the nation, the growth of alarm system ownership has resulted in a tremendous amount of false alarms. The response to false alarms has created an additional burden on our law enforcement agencies. Nationwide, approximately 98% or more of all the burglar alarms police respond on are false. False alarms divert officers from places where they are genuinely needed. They can delay responses to calls that may be real and can remove our officers from proactive crime prevention activities.
Why did the Borough revise the false alarm ordinance?
The Police Department is handling more than 900 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 1400 -1600 alarm calls, of which more than 95% are false. This is very costly to all the Borough taxpayers. A number of New Jersey jurisdictions, including the Village of Ridgewood and city of Englewood , have also recently adopted false alarm ordinances as a way to reduce their false alarms.
What does the Borough hope to accomplish by enforcing the false alarm ordinance?
The Borough wants to substantially reduce the number of false alarms that the Police Department handles. Results from other towns that hold the alarm user accountable for the maintenance and operation of their alarm systems have successfully reduced the number of false alarm calls. The alarm ordinance is based on an alarm model that was developed by the national alarm industry in conjunction with the National Sheriff’s Association and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
If I have just one or two false alarms a year is that a problem?
As an individual alarm user, if the Glen Rock Police Department responds to your home or business just once or twice a year on a false alarm, it doesn’t seem like a major problem, but it is. The use of our Officers has a value attached to it. We all count on our Police Department to be there when we need them.
If every alarm user believed that it is okay to just have a few false alarms each year, then that would result in thousands of additional unnecessary calls for the GRPD. That is a burden placed on all taxpayers in the Borough.
Who is required to have an alarm registration?
Anyone operating an alarm system that is monitored by a Central Station is required to obtain an alarm registration. A separate alarm registration is required for each alarm site having a distinct address or business. For an office complex, that means that the building owner must register his or her fire alarm system, and if a tenant has their own burglar alarm, they must register that separately. Alarms not required to be registered are those not connected to a Central Station Monitoring Company, those installed on an auto, on one’s person or an alarm system which will not emit a signal either audible or visible from the outside of the building or residence but is designed solely to alert the occupants of a building or residence.
How do I register my alarm?
All residents, as well as commercial businesses who have an alarm system that meet the above conditions are required to register their system every year by January 30th. After the first year, renewal notices will go out every year to remind residents and businesses to re-register their systems. New alarm systems are required to have a valid alarm registration within 10 days of the installation or activation.
You can also access an online site to download alarm registration forms by clicking on link: Alarm registration Form
What is the cost of an annual alarm permit?
The cost of an alarm registration or its renewal is $25.00 for each calendar year. Should your information change during the course of the year, just fill out a new form. There is no fee to update information.
No refund of a registration fee will be made.
If I plan to cancel my alarm service in the next couple of months do I still need to register my alarm?
If your alarm service will not be cancelled within thirty days of receiving the notice to register your alarm system, then you are required to have a valid alarm permit to operate your alarm system.
Why registration fees and annual renewals?
Permit fees pay for the administration of the alarm program. The alarm program structure that is established to educate alarm users about reducing false alarms, tracking false alarm calls, and providing to recover some of the cost of the Police Department’s services lost to false alarm response. There is no “profit” for the Borough.
Whether or not you have a false alarm, this service function is necessary for all alarm users. The Borough of Glen Rock has approximately 600 alarm sites to track and dozens of alarm companies and monitoring centers that they must coordinate and interact with on alarms.
What is the fee or fine amount for a false alarm?
The false alarm fee is based on an escalating scale:
- 1st to 3rd False Alarm, WARNING
- 4th and 5th False Alarm, $50.00
- 6th thru 9th False Alarm, $150.00
- 10th and ALL Subsequent False Alarms, $250.00
Can my alarm monitoring center cancel a burglar/intrusion alarm that they have called into the communications center?
Yes they can. You will not be charged for a false alarm if the cancellation notice is received prior to the Officer’s arrival at the alarm site. Only your alarm monitoring center can cancel an alarm burglar/intrusion call.
DO NOT CALL 911 to cancel your alarm, call your alarm monitoring company.
Can my alarm registration be suspended and the police will not respond to my home?
Yes it can be suspended along with Police response. If you have excessive false alarms within your registration period, the Police have the authority to suspend responding after 12 false (Burglar, NOT fire) alarms in any calendar period, and the system may be required to be disconnected for a period of 90 days, unless said system is required by law and provide a statement from those that service the alarm system that the malfunction has been corrected.
Should you exceed 12 false alarms, you will be notified, in writing, that the police may not respond to any further alarms until the situation is corrected.
What is the effective date for the ordinance?
The Glen Rock Borough Council passed the ordinance on September 16, 2010. Implementation of the ordinance began in January, 2011.
Where can I read or obtain a copy of the ordinance or who do I call if I have additional questions or comments?
The alarm ordinance is posted online at http://generalcode.com/ or
Call the police Records Bureau at 201-652-3800 Monday through Friday, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm.
Click here for more information about the Borough of Glen Rock.