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False Alarm Reduction


The False Alarm Reduction program's mission is to cut the amount of false alarm calls in the City of Tampa.  A high percentage of alarm calls dispatched are false and this creates an undue burden on patrol officers responding.  Officers time management is significantly hindered by these calls as they are not efficiently deployed to prevent crime while responding.

What is a false alarm?

A false alarm is any alarm activation caused by human error or equipment malfunction requiring police response, with no evidence of an actual crime having been committed.

What are the most frequent human errors that cause false alarms?

Residential:

  • Incorrect key pad procedures.

  • Failure to train other authorized users (i.e. sitters, relatives, children, houseguest,etc.).

  • Failure to secure doors and windows before arming your alarm.

Commercial:

  • Use of incorrect key pad codes.

  • Failure to train other authorized users (i.e., employees, custodial workers, delivery personnel, etc.).

  • Failure to notify your monitoring facility of unscheduled openings or closings (for businesses using a set schedule).

  • Failure to update authorized personnel list with your monitoring facility.

  • Failure to secure doors and windows before arming your alarm.

What are the most frequent equipment malfunctions that cause false alarms?

  • Improper application or installation of interior motion sensors.

  • Improper application or installation of outdoor beams.

  • Improper charging or checking of batteries.

  • Faulty equipment (i.e., panels, detectors, keypads, etc.).

  • Failure to secure doors and windows before arming your alarm.

What can you do to reduce false alarms?

  • Insure authorized users are familiar with you alarm system's operation.

  • Secure all doors and windows prior to arming your alarm.

  • Be aware of changes in the environment (i.e., new animals, design changes, seasonal decorations. plants, etc.) that might have an impact on your alarm.

  • Notify your monitoring facility of any changes (i.e., houseguests, name changes, new employees, employee terminations, etc.).

The Alarm User Registration Form (PDF)  is used to register your security alarm with the Tampa Police Department.  You may complete this form and mail it to:

City of Tampa
Attn:  A/R & Billing - Police False Alarms
306 E. Jackson St., 050A7E 306 E. Jackson St.
Tampa, FL  33602

Tampa forms are in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format.  Get the latest Adobe Reader software.

For further information about false alarms and ways to prevent them, you can visit the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association and False Alarm Reduction Association web sites.  For any additional information please call (813) 274-8921.