Starting June 2021, alarm systems in your business must be permitted and registered with the police department. Here’s what you need to know about registering your alarm systems.
Why Do You Need a Permit?
According to the Oklahoma City Police Department, they’re instituting a new ordinance for alarm systems because they respond to an excessive number of false alarms each year. In an effort to reduce those calls, they’re requiring all businesses (and personal residences) to get a permit for their alarm systems. If your alarm is not registered by May 31, 2021, the police may not respond to your emergency alarm.
Important note: Police and fire departments will always respond to fire, panic, and hold-up alarms. However, they may not respond to lower-level alarms, such as burglary.
Benefits of Registering
If the number of false alarms decreases, police can focus on real emergencies that need their attention. Also, the registration process requires sharing contact information with the police so they can reach out in the event of an emergency outside of normal business hours. Quick notification of an alarm keeps business owners in the loop about their property.
Consequences of Not Registering
After June 1, 2021, OKC police will not respond to alarms from non-registered businesses or residences. That could mean that they don’t arrive in time to stop or catch an assailant.
Consequences of False Alarms
When the new ordinance kicks in, police will allow a business three false alarms in a 365-day span without consequences. The fourth and fifth will carry a fine. After a sixth false alarm in one year, your business will lose its permit.
Do You Need More Than One Permit for Fire and Security Systems?
According to the police department, each business only needs one permit, even if they have both fire and security alarm systems. A permit covers all alarm systems for a given address.
However, if your business moves to a new location before the permit expires, you will need to apply for one for the new location. Permits do not transfer from one address to another.
How Long Does the Permit Last?
Permits are good for one year and expire on the last day of the month in which you registered or last renewed.
How Can I Reduce False Alarms at My Business?
If your life safety systems send out false alarms frequently, you are at risk of losing your permit from too many false alarms. However, when you work with FPS Technologies for your life safety system inspections and maintenance, we catch and address issues that commonly cause false alarms. With regular maintenance, we can fix issues before they begin causing malfunctions.
If some of your accidental alerts are caused by staff who don’t know how to correctly operate the fire system panel, for example, we can offer training to give them the skills and confidence to operate the panel correctly.
If you know that a false alarm has gone out from your location, you can also call the police to cancel the alarm. Doing so prevents you from logging a false alarm on your record and helps you retain your permit.
How Do I Apply for a Permit?
You can get your permit online at this portal from the OKC Police Department. Registering a new alarm is $27, and renewing an existing permit is $17.
If you’re not sure whether your permit is valid or you have other questions about registering your alarm system, get in touch.