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Alarm Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


WHAT IS A FALSE ALARM?
The City of Lubbock defines a false alarm as an alarm dispatch request to a law enforcement agency when the responding law enforcement officer finds no evidence of a criminal offense or attempted criminal offense after having completed a timely investigation of the alarm site.

HOW MANY FALSE ALARMS DOES LUBBOCK HAVE IN A YEAR?

The Lubbock Police Department responds to approximately 18,000 alarm-related calls per year, over 95% of which are false alarms.

WHY IS THAT A PROBLEM?
The majority of emergency alarms, which law enforcement officials respond to, are false alarms. Because most of the false alarms are the result of improper maintenance or improper or careless use of an alarm system, the public and the police are subjected to needless danger. False alarms add unnecessary risk to the responding officers and the public in general.

WHAT IS THE CITY DOING ABOUT THIS PROBLEM?
The City of Lubbock enacted an Alarm Ordinance in November of 2001 that requires alarm license registration and fines for excessive false alarms. The intent of this Ordinance is to reduce the number of false alarms received.

DO I HAVE TO REGISTER MY ALARM SYSTEM?

Not necessarily. Once the alarm site gets 3 false burglary alarm notifications or 1 false robbery alarm notification in a year, then they must obtain an alarm permit. The permit must be renewed every year but renewal fees may not apply.  If you meet one of the above criteria, the Neighborhood Services Unit will notify you by mail of the need to obtain a permit.  See Alarm Ordinance for more details.

HOW DO I REGISTER MY ALARM?

You may apply for the alarm permit three different ways. You may use the application that will be included in your notification letter or you may print the application and fill it out. Otherwise, you may come fill out an application at the Police Department, located at 916 Texas Avenue, during normal business hours for the Alarm Permit Office. The application fee is $50*.  If applying by mail, send $50* with the application to the address listed on the application.

*PLEASE NOTE: For HOMEOWNERS registering for a permit for their HOME, the application fee is $25 if the homeowner is 65 years of age or older. 

The Alarm Permit Office Hours

IS THERE A PENALTY FOR FAILURE TO REGISTER AN ALARM SYSTEM?
Yes. Any location operating a non-licensed alarm system will be subjected to a citation for every day that the location is out of compliance with the Alarm Ordinance.

IS A FALSE ALARM COUNTED IF THE POLICE ARE CANCELLED?
Yes. Once the officer is dispatched, it is counted as a false alarm because the officer is pulled off an assignment to respond to the alarm site.

IF THE ALARM WAS SET OFF BY A CLEANING CREW OR HIRED HELP, DOES IT COUNT AGAINST ME?
Yes. This is considered user error. According to Section 14-315, the alarm user is responsible to train all persons who may activate the alarm system in the proper use and operation of the alarm system.

AM I STILL RESPONSIBLE FOR OBTAINING, RENEWING, AND/OR PAYING FEES IF THE ALARM COMPANY IS TO BLAME?
Yes. The Alarm Ordinance holds the alarm user responsible for any false alarm notifications.

DO I HAVE TO COMPLETE ANOTHER APPLICATION EVERY TIME I RENEW MY PERMIT?
Yes.  This ensures that all information is current and correct.  Alarm permits are not automatically renewed whether or not there were any false alarms during the permit year.