Bylaw No. 39 of 2004, The False Alarm Bylaw, was implemented September 20, 2004 to ensure effective use of police resources and reduce demand in responding to false alarms. The following is a Users Guide respecting the Bylaw:
- Valid Alarm
The activation of a security system caused by unauthorized entry into any building/property or caused by any other emergency situation in any building/property.
- False Alarm
The activation of a security system when there is no unauthorized entry into any building/property or other emergency situation in any building/property.
Person designated by the user to attend at the scene of an alarm who will give police access to the premises.
Open communication with your security business is encouraged. All needs and responsibilities should be addressed by them. The Police are a response option to your alarm. Other options may be suggested by your security company.
Security system users are responsible for their alarm activity.
Security system users must register their information with the monitoring business to become part of the Alarm program. They must ensure that an up-to-date list of keyholders is supplied to the company.
Security system users will be charged an annual fee by the monitoring business to obtain an Alarm System Identification Number (ASIN), which is registered with the Prince Albert Police Service. Monitoring businesses are charged an annual fee of $25.00 per registered premise by the Police Service.
Keyholders have a responsibility to attend at the scene when requested to do so by the monitoring business (and their response to a call must be as soon as the call is received.)
The keyholder must assist responding officers in determining the origin of an alarm signal from the system and its cause, when possible.
Security system users who have two false alarms in a 365-day rolling period will have their next alarm call processed through the 1-900 telephone alarm service.
Calls made on the 1-900 telephone service will be charged a per call fee of $100.00. The security business will be charged by the telephone service.
Insecurity Alarm Response
The Prince Albert Police Service will respond to any alarm within the City of Prince Albert that has been registered with them and assigned an Alarm System Identification Number (ASIN) by the Police Service.
The Prince Albert Police Service will not respond to any alarm from an unregistered security system unless the call is processed through the 1-900 telephone alarm service. The monitoring business will be charged a $100.00 fee per call.
If a registered security system user has had two false alarms within a rolling 365-day period the monitoring company must use the 1-900 number for service. If the monitoring business refuses to use the 1-900 number, the Police Service will not process the alarm for response. Please contact your monitoring business for alternate responses to your alarm.
The Prince Albert Police Service will not respond to alarms that have been communicated to them by an automatic dialing device, pre-recorded message, or any alarms not monitored by an alarm business.
All alarms reported by monitoring businesses will be considered urgent and receive prompt response unless circumstances indicated otherwise.
Officers will be dispatched to monitored alarm calls on a priority basis.
Upon arrival, officers will check the premises to determine the validity of the alarm and ensure the security of the property.
When checks reveal the premises appear secure, officers will wait a reasonable amount of time, circumstances permitting, for a keyholder to arrive.
With an apparent secure premises, circumstances and/or call load may dictate that the officers may not be able to wait for a keyholder.
When the officers have cleared an apparent secure premises they will not be re-dispatched upon keyholder arrival, unless signs of criminal activity exists.
False Alarm Elimination
Ensure all persons who are authorized to use the security system are properly trained. This should include third party users, such as subcontractors, maintenance staff, etc.
Have an interior audible device installed on the property to indicate that an alarm has been activated.
When the interior alarm activates and you wish to cancel the alarm, phone your monitoring business. Remember that the telephone lines are often used to process your alarm and the line may be "in use" for a moment. If you attempt to call your monitoring company and cannot, wait a few minutes and try again after the alarm has cleared the telephone line.
Ensure the security system is in proper working order by providing regular preventative maintenance.
False alarms may be caused by:
- Faulty application of the security system.
- Movement of items such as balloons and banners due to blowing air from fans or air conditioners.
- Pets moving in area monitored by a motion alarm.
Ensure that all users are educated on the proper procedures if they inadvertently set off the security system so the monitoring business may terminate the incident before the police become involved.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What are the fees used for?
A. The $25.00 annual permit provides for a valid ASIN, (Alarm System Identification number), that is managed by software by the Police Service. Not unlike other fees for service, such as criminal record checks for example, the fee is collected to provide for some cost recovery to the Service in the administration of the Alarm Program. The 1-900 line provides the Service with some cost recovery in unnecessarily attending to false alarms and provides alarm companies with incentive to maintain their systems and provide for training of system users.
Q. Who sets the fee schedule?
A. The Bylaw, Bylaw No. 39 of 2004, sets the fee schedule based on "industry standard" of similar Bylaws within the province and Canada wide. The Bylaws in Regina, Saskatoon, Moose Jaw and North Battleford have similar fee schedules.
Q. Does the Police Service Respond to Alarms that are not registered?
A. Yes, the Police Service will respond to all alarms communicated through an alarm monitoring station. The method of generating the response is dependant on whether the premise the police are responding too has a "valid" ASIN. If the premise is not registered, or has an "invalid" ASIN, (i.e. there has been more than two attendances from police within the past 365 rolling days), the police response is generated through the 1-900 line with a $100.00 fee associated to the response. Should premise owners choose not to register, they are encouraged to discuss alternative responses to their alarm other than the police with their alarm company.
Q. What about Fire Alarms - Hold-up Alarms?
A. Fire and Hold-up alarms are not part of the program and not required to register. The alarm program is strictly for business/residential intrusion alarms to properties monitored by alarm monitoring stations. The Police Service and Fire Control Center have existing protocol in place for dealing with Fire and Hold-up alarms.
Q. If I reside outside the City of Prince Albert, do I have to register?
A. No, the Alarm Program is applicable to only those properties within the corporate limits of the City of Prince Albert.
Q. As a property owner with an alarmed premise, do I pay my annual registration fee directly to the Police Service?
A. No, you deal with your alarm company who will handle your registration requirements. The Police Service business relationship is with the Alarm Monitoring companies, not the system users.
"The Prince Albert Police Service recognizes the intent of security systems and will provide immediate response to alarm calls when a crime or emergency exists"