News 5 Investigates

Jan 17, 2014 3:04 PM by Eric Ross

News 5 Investigates: Alarm companies may be providing you with a false sense of security

Burglar alarms are meant to keep you and your family safe, but that's not always the case. The companies monitoring them may be providing you with a false sense of safety.

Over the past year, the Colorado Springs Police Department says they've experienced an increase in alarm calls involving addresses not registered with the department. Per City Ordinance, alarm companies are required to register your system within 5 days of its installation.

Your alarm permit must also be renewed yearly.

The Colorado Springs Police Department says many alarm companies are renewing permits months after they expire. Because the department receives so many false alarms, Springs police say they will only respond to alarms that are active and registered. The only exception will be if the homeowner manually activates the panic button on their system.

Anyone with concerns as to whether their alarm is properly registered should contact their alarm company, not police. The police department will not tell you over the phone whether your permit is active for security reasons.

The police department provides each alarm company with a reminder notice of permits approaching renewal no later than 60 days prior to the due date. It is the alarm company's responsibility to update the account holder information and renew the permit with the city prior to the expiration date.Frequently asked questions:

Q: How do I know whether my alarm company has registered my system with the police department?
A: In Colorado Springs, every alarm company is required by city ordinance to register your system. You should have been provided a "permit number" around the time the system was installed. If you do not have a permit on file or permit number, contact your alarm company.

Q: Does my permit need to be renewed?
A: Yes! You're permit must be renewed yearly. There is a renewal fee which may or may not be passed along to the consumer. Check your alarm system service contract for details.

Q: Will police really ignore my alarm system if it's not registered?
A: Yes. Unless you physically press the "panic" button on the alarm system keypad, officers will not be responding to unregistered alarm calls.

Q: Can I call the police department to see if my permit is active?
A: No. The police department will not give out any alarm-related information over the phone. Permit numbers and an expiration status can be obtained through your alarm company.

Q: Which alarm company has the most "unregistered" alarms in Colorado Springs?
A: The Colorado Springs Police Department says they don't track this data.




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