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Burglar Alarm Services
False Alarm Reduction Program
Across the nation, the growth and ownership of alarm systems has resulted in a tremendous amount of false alarms, which have created an additional burden on law enforcement agencies. False alarms divert and delay officers from responding to crime and take resources away from where they are genuinely needed.
In effort to reduce the number of false alarms, the City of Oakland adopted the Burglar Alarm Ordinance in 2009.
This ordinance requires residents and businesses within the City of Oakland to obtain a permit or permits for their burglar alarm system, which will allow the Oakland Police Department (OPD) to closely monitor alarm activity and identify alarm users. It also will enable OPD to contact the appropriate individual in response to the alarm call. The Burglar Alarm Ordinance authorizes permit fees and fees for alarm registration violations and services provided. The ordinance requires alarm companies to play a greater role in how customers use and maintain their alarm systems.
When purchasing an alarm system within the City of Oakland, alarm users should note the following :
- The alarm system must be registered for the required permit by the alarm company
- A valid alarm permit is required prior to the activation of the new alarm system
- Information regarding any specific conditions on the property (i.e. weapons, chemicals, guard dogs/medical animals or pets) should be included on the permit registration form for the safety of dispatched emergency responders
Alarm users are responsible for:
- Keeping annual permit registrations current
- Properly operating the alarm system and training household members who use it
- Maintaining the alarm system to avoid malfunction and false alarms
- Paying service fees for false alarms, if applicable
- Providing the monitoring company with at least three alternate persons who can meet with responding police officers at the alarm site when the alarm has been triggered
If alarm system users have three or more false alarms within a permitted year, they will be placed on verified response status. For users with excessive false alarms, police will only respond to alarm calls from sites on verified response status if the alarm company or caller can verify through audio, video or eyewitness that a crime is occurring. Residents and businesses can call (866) 950-9902 for information on how to have the alarm site removed from verified response status.
- Residential – $25
- Commercial – $35
- Low-income Seniors – $15 (must meet the senior discount requirements outlined in the Frequently Asked Questions)
False Alarm Fees:
- General False Alarm – $84
- Robbery/Panic or Manually Activated Alarm – $156
Unregistered Alarm Fee:
- General False Alarm – additional $70 ($154 total)
- Robbery/Panic or Manually Activated Alarm – additional $70 ($226 total)
- Genuine Alarm – $70
- The invalid (unregistered or expired) permit fee can be waived if you register your alarm within 10 days of being billed.
- In the case of an unregistered alarm, your alarm company will also be billed $260 for requesting police dispatch to an unregistered alarm site.
- If you do not pay your total service fee invoice within 30 days of being billed, you will be assessed an additional $30 late fee.
- To avoid general false alarm fees associated with registered alarms, immediately contact your monitoring company to cancel the false alarm by requesting that police not be dispatched to your site.
- Robbery False Alarm fees are more costly, because two officers must respond to any robbery alarm.
Fee Payment Options
All fees can be paid via the City of Oakland False Alarm Reduction Program website.
Fees can also be paid by mail by making your check payable to “City of Oakland-False Alarm” and mailing it to:
City of Oakland-False Alarm
P.O. Box 101513
Pasadena, CA 91189-0005
Burglar Alarm Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Responses to many questions regarding the False Alarm Reduction Program are available here.
- For general questions, please call our toll-free phone number (866) 950-9902. Representatives are available Monday-Friday, 7am-4pm (PST).
- To reach the False Alarm Reduction Unit Administrator, please call (510) 238-3525 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- For additional information, please visit the City of Oakland’s False Alarm Reduction Program website.
Warning! Beware of Alarm Scams
See our fact sheet on door-to-door alarm scams. Deceptive tactics and alarm company representative impersonators are usually on the rise in the summer months.