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Police Department

False Alarm Information

We have provided some information about burglar alarm systems and the alarm requirements within the City of Berkeley. We do recommend having a burglar alarm system, as alarms are still one of the best deterrents of burglary and can also be used to call for assistance during emergencies or medical emergencies.  Currently, the City of Berkeley does not require permits for the installation of burglar alarm systems.

Within a 90-day period, the charges are as follows:

1st:          FREE

2nd:       $75.00

3rd:        $100.00

4th:        $125.00

alarm pageThe City of Berkeley has an ordinance regulating  false alarms. Berkeley Municipal Code Section 9.70.100.  Any alarm call received from an alarm company where no criminal activity was discovered, will constitute a false alarm (wrong code entered, no code entered, open doors/windows where the motion detector sets of the alarm, workers without the code, mechanical errors etc…). 

We recommend that all of the exterior doors, windows and places of possible entry be alarmed with either a sensor pad or glass breakage detector.  Once the exterior is secure, you may want to place motion sensors on the inside of the building.  (please note that it has been the case in false alarm reports that some sensors may be too high / sensitive).

We also recommend that once the system is installed, in the event it be set off, the alarm company should call  you, the resident first before calling the police. This is due to 94% of the alarm calls received are due to human error by owners, employees or building occupants, malfunctions and improper maintenance of alarm system.

Anytime your alarm goes off (even if it only went off for a few seconds) or has an error, you should call the alarm company and provide them with your password.  If the company calls the police, we will have to respond ASAP.  If you or the system were at fault or you did not think the company received a signal, this will be considered a false call. 
***Even if you call the police you cannot cancel the call – only the alarm company can upon receiving your password. 

Your agreement with the alarm company should include a clause for how often and how soon the company will come out and check the system for malfunctions or problems.  Faulty equipment is to blame for false alarms or calls for service about half of the time.  You are responsible for the maintenance of your system.

The Berkeley Police Department cannot provide recommendations of any one type of alarm system or referrals to any company which sells or services alarm systems.  When first deciding if you want an alarm system, have at least three reputable alarm companies come to your home and provide you with information and estimates on what system will best work for your building.

If you have any other general questions, please contact your alarm company or to discuss your account, please email or contact us at 981-6594.

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Police Department, 2100 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way, Berkeley, CA 94704
Questions or comments? Email: Phone: (510) 981-5900
(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
TTY: (510) 981-6903