What is a false alarm?- A false alarm is defined by the county code as “any activation of an alarm system to summon public safety personnel or a request to dispatch public safety personnel due to an alarm activation, when a situation requiring a public safety response does not exist, meaning (1) no evidence of an emergency; or (2) the cancellation of a unverified alarm dispatch request after public safety personnel respond at the alarm site. A false alarm includes an alarm signal caused by conditions of nature, which are normal for that area. A false alarm does not include an alarm signal caused by extraordinarily violent conditions of nature such as tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes or as provided in this chapter.”
What does it mean to “verify” my alarm?- When an alarm is activated it must be verified before Law Enforcement will respond. Verified is defined by county code 6.10.60 as “real-time visual or real-time audio confirmation from an alarm site that enables the alarm monitoring company to verify the occurrence of an emergency at the alarm site requiring a public safety response. Such verification shall occur before contacting Kitsap 911 to request a public safety response and may be provided by: 1. Confirmation by the alarm user at the alarm site or via real-time self-monitored visual or audio equipment or a multi-zone activation; or 2. Confirmation by a private guard responder or third party at the alarm site or other secondary confirmation of an emergency at the alarm site; or 3. Real-time audio and/or visual evidence provided by an alarm monitoring company of an emergency at the alarm site, provided that such audio or visual evidence is made available to Kitsap 911 prior to dispatch of public safety personnel.”
How do I prevent false alarms?- False alarms cost the Sheriff’s Office and Kitsap 911 valuable time and resources. There are many ways you can help prevent false alarms. Keep motion sensors free of dust and bugs and ensure anyone who has permission to be in the house has the alarm code and knows how to use the alarm pad.
Who is fined for false alarms?- Your alarm company is fined, but they may be able to pass that cost to you, if your contract allows that.
Fine schedule.- County code 6.10.80.D “The administrative penalty for a first violation of any provision of this chapter is $150; the second or any subsequent violations during any 12 month continuous period may be assessed a penalty of not less than $150 and not more than $500.” Payments shall be made payable to the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office (crime prevention fund). All penalties shall be due within 30 days or a late fee of $25, reasonable administrative costs, and collections fees may be assessed on any past due account.