Burglar Alarm Guidance for Businesses

With the growth of business alarm use in Boone, we have seen a corresponding increase in the number of false alarms. In 2013 Boone Police responded to over 1,200 alarms, the overwhelming majority of which were false. Nearly all were false. You, as a taxpaying business owner, should be as concerned as we are about these false alarms. False alarms create an undue burden on resources such as fuel and manpower, create safety hazards for officers and lawful occupants, and distract from the Department’s ability to respond effectively to legitimate alarms and complaints in general.

The Town of Boone is beginning an initiative to reduce the number of false alarms. Through direct contact, public information campaign, enforcement of the current alarm ordinance, and future enforcement of a modified ordinance the goal of the initiative is reduction of false alarms. It is not the desire of the Boone Police Department that businesses be penalized or that they disable alarm systems in lieu of being penalized. With cooperation and information we can reduce the burden these alarms create on your Boone Police Department. Here are some tips from the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department False Alarm Reduction Unit:

  • If your alarm is accidentally activated, don’t panic, don’t call 911, call your alarm monitoring station immediately. Give them your pass code and/or password.
  • Make sure all alarm users and key holders at your address are trained to use the system.
  • You can arrange to have your alarm monitoring station call you or another designated person first instead of the police when your alarm is activated.
  • If you expect workers, real estate agents, delivery personnel, etc. do not set your alarm. If you must set your alarm, meet the people at your site to deactivate the alarm. Remember that you are responsible for their actions. You can also arrange with your alarm company to have separate codes for them.
  • If your system sends a silent panic/duress signal when an incorrect code is entered, understand that your alarm company may not call you to verify the alarm. You should contact your alarm company if the alarm is false and have them to cancel the police.
  • Be sure that doors and windows are tight fitting. Adjust hinges and strike plates on doors, so they move no more than ¼ inches when pulled or pushed on.
  • Have an arming delay of at least 45 seconds on all doors.
  • Do not leave doors and windows open or unlocked while you are away. Be sure all doors and windows are properly closed and locked prior to arming the alarm system.
  • Do not leave anything that will move (pets, balloons, drapes, fans, etc…) in a room that is protected with a motion detector.
  • Have the sensitivity settings on glass-break sensors adjusted so that sounds, such as thunder and outside construction, do not activate them.
  • You can arrange with your alarm company not to dispatch the police for interior motion sensor activations without having other sensors activated (i.e…. a door activation with a motion sensor activation).
  • If storms or brief power outages of 4 hours or less activate your alarm system, your system needs to be checked by a professional. These may be caused from dead/low batteries. Have your alarm system checked and tested regularly.
  • Call your alarm company after each false alarm to determine the cause of the false alarm. You may continue to have false alarms until the problem is repaired or adjusted. Please remember, the goal of a burglar alarm system is to identify when a building is being robbed, entered unlawfully or and attempt is made. Any other alarm activation is “false” and contributes to the problem of false alarm response. Every false alarm you can prevent helps. Please contact by emailing Sergeant Matt Stevens or by calling 828-268-6936 with any questions or concerns.