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Frequently Asked Questions

Does my alarm system have to be registered?

Residential or non-residential (business or commercial) alarm systems must be registered annually if they are monitored, or have exterior indicators (flashing lights, sirens, etc.) that can be seen or heard outside of the alarmed location by others, encouraging an alarm dispatch request.

Do I have to register my car alarm?

No. Vehicles are exempt unless they are permanently affixed to one location.

What Are the registration fees for residential & non residential (commercial or business) alarm locations?

A fee of $15.00 shall accompany each application for alarms on residential, commercial or governmental premises covered under the Alachua County's Ordinance. The City of Gainesville's Ordinance fee is $19.00 for fire permits and $22.50 for burglar alarm permits.

Who is required to obtain a permit to do business in Alachua County?

Alarm contractors who install, maintain, alter, sell, service or monitor residential and/or non-residential alarm systems.

Where does the money go that is collected from fees?

Money collected from fees is used to cover expenses associated with administering the false alarm reduction program (e.g., personnel, equipment, supplies, forms, printing costs, etc.). After program administration expenses are met, the balance of money collected is dedicated towards improvements in the 9-1-1 Police/Fire/EMS Communications area (e.g., upgrade of 9-1-1 communications equipment, facilities, etc.).

If I have a Burglar & Fire Alarm System do I need two permits?

If the location of the alarm system is your primary residence, then only one permit is required. Your Burglar Alarm permit will serve as a dual permit to include your Fire Alarm Permit.

If the location of the Alarm System is for a Business, then a separate Fire Alarm Permit is required.

What fees are not eligible for appeal?

Appeals for fines and reinstatement of permits will not be heard for the following:

  • Faulty, defective or malfunctioning equipment
  • Improper installation or maintenance of equipment
  • Improper monitoring by an alarm business
  • An occurrence where no evidence of criminal activity is present
  • Mistakes made by private contractors (maids, cleaning crews, etc.)
  • Alarm activations which occur while alarm technicians are repairing or servicing the alarm system
  • Items within the home or business which move and cause motion detectors to activate (curtains, signs, balloons, etc.)
  • Glass break detectors which activate due to noises/sounds other than actual glass breakage
  • Doors and/or windows that become loose and cause a break in the contacts which activates the alarm
  • Caretakers who watch homes or businesses when owners are away
  • Pets, rodents, or wildlife
  • Improper maintenance of the alarm system by the alarm owner (including neglect of backup power/battery supplied).
  • If you do not have a permit, the $200 unregistered fee for not having a permit is not appealable.

Cases involving crimes or criminal attempts will be heard, however, the incident must be documented within ten business days of the activation. The False Alarm Administrator may request a written statement or report from a registered alarm company representative which details the reasons for the false alarm.

What are some of the benefits of the false alarm reduction program to our community and citizens?

The false alarm reduction program establishes alarm business licensing requirements, alarm installation standards, alarm monitoring and reporting procedures, alarm user education requirements, and coordinates the issuance of local Alarm Business Licenses, thereby ensuring alarm company compliance with the State of Florida licensing requirements to conduct criminal history background checks on all of their employees engaged in the sale, installation, monitoring or maintenance of alarm systems. These program components are designed to protect and educate the consumer and to ensure a higher quality of alarm system installations, thereby contributing to the overall reduction of false alarms.

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

Under Florida law, email addresses are public records. If you do not want your email address released in response to a public-records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by phone or in writing.

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