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False Alarm Appeal Guidelines

Alachua County

The alarm review board shall consist of three members. There shall be one representative from the Alachua County Sheriff's Office. There shall be two members appointed by the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners, including one from the professional alarm industry in Alachua County, and one member from the public at-large.

According to the Alachua County Burglar and Fire Alarm Ordinance, a false alarm means the activation of an alarm system for any reason other than a criminal offense or an attempted criminal offense, and a subsequent response by the Sheriff to that alarm site. A false alarm does not include:

  1. an alarm caused by physical damage to the alarm system as a result of lightning, wind, or other meteorological event, where there is clear evidence of physical damage to the alarm system; or
  2. an alarm caused by disconnection of a telephone circuit beyond the control of the alarm operator or his/her agents, verified by written communication from the telephone company; or
  3. an alarm caused by continuous electrical power disruption in excess of four hours for burglar alarms and 24 hours for fire alarms.

City of Gainesville

An alarm operator may appeal the assessment of a fee, permit suspension, or permit revocation. The alarm operator shall notify the alarm administrator in writing within ten days of receipt of notice of fine, suspension or revocation. Proper notification shall stay the imposition of a fee, suspension or revocation, until a decision is made by the alarm review authority. The alarm review authority means the city manager or designee.

If emergency personnel respond and find no evidence of criminal activity, fire or smoke, or a medical need, the alarm call will be cleared as a false alarm.

An Alarm Dispatch Request which is canceled by the Alarm Monitoring Company prior to the arrival of emergency responders shall not be considered a False Alarm Dispatch, unless it is a silent, panic, or robbery type alarm or fire alarm.

When considering whether to file an appeal of a false alarm assessment, please note that appeals will not be granted for false alarms that are a result of the following circumstances.

  1. Faulty, defective or malfunctioning equipment supplied by the alarm business.
  2. Improper installation or maintenance by the alarm business.
  3. Improper monitoring by the alarm business.
  4. Alarm activations which occur while alarm technicians are repairing, servicing or testing the alarm system.
  5. An occurrence where no evidence of criminal activity is present.
  6. Mistakes made by private contractors, maids, cleaning crews, realtors, etc.
  7. Improper maintenance of the alarm system by the alarm owner (including neglect of backup power/battery supplies).
  8. Items within the home or business which move and cause motion detectors to activate, i.e., curtains, signs, balloons, plants, pets, etc.
  9. Glass break detectors which activate due to noises or sounds other than actual glass breakage.
  10. Doors and/or windows that become loose and cause a break in the contacts which activate the alarm.
  11. Caretakers who watch homes or businesses when owners are away.
  12. Pets, rodents, wildlife.
  13. The $200 fee charged for an unpermitted alarm.

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For more information contact the Alachua County Sheriff's Office Public Information Bureau, (352) 367-4050 or send us an email.

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This information is made available to the public and law enforcement in the interest of public safety.