Preventing False Alarms

A Problem for All of Us!

Professionally installed and monitored alarm systems are a proven way to deter crime. By purchasing an alarm system and having it monitored, home and business owners are investing in peace of mind and protecting loved ones and property.

As more and more Daytonians choose to protect their property with alarm systems, the numbers of false alarms increase. A false alarm is the activation of a system caused by human error or mechanical failure or malfunction.  In 2016, Dayton Police Officers responded to more than 3,100 false alarms. False alarms are more than just irritating. They take police away from real emergencies, risk lives, and make each alarm system less credible.

False Alarm Control & Prevention

Whenever Dayton Police Officers are sent to check an alarm, the incident is kept on record for twelve months if it is a false alarm. The officers will leave a notice on the property to advise you that they were there for a false alarm. After the second false alarm in twelve months, we will mail a warning to you. After the second false alarm, you are subject to false alarm fees. If you have a seventh false alarm, you will be ordered to disconnect your system until all fees are paid and appropriate measures have been taken to prevent further false alarms.

Disconnect Order Facts

This pamphlet provides information to those alarm users who have been issued a Disconnect Order. This information is found in City of Dayton Ordinances 112.260-112.281, (The Alarm Ordinance).

Types of Alarm Systems

The Alarm Ordinance covers security systems installed on structures. The following types of alarms are not covered:
  • Fire alarm systems
  • Medical emergency alarm systems
  • Vehicle alarm systems


A Disconnect Order requires the system be prevented from attracting the attention of the police, either directly or indirectly. To accomplish this, the system should not initiate a call to the Police Department and should not activate an audible signal that can be heard by police officers on patrol, or anyone who, upon hearing it, would call the police to report an alarm.


An alarm system may be reconnected only if satisfactory evidence is proved that the system has been repaired or the cause(s) for the false alarms rectified so that no further false alarms are emitted, and upon payment of all delinquent charges assessed for false alarms.

Filing an Appeal With the Alarm Permit Review Board

You can appeal the question of whether a false alarm occurred. If, after having taken corrective measures, your Disconnect Order is not canceled, you can appeal the question of whether appropriate measures have been taken to prevent further false alarms.

A written request for appeal must be submitted to the Police Department within thirty (30) calendar days after the Disconnect Order was mailed.

The appellant has the right to present written and oral evidence to the Alarm Permit Review Board at a hearing on an appeal and shall have the burden of proving his or her case by a preponderance of the credible evidence.

Alarm Permit Review Board

A board consisting of the following city officials, or their designees, will consider your appeal.
  • Chief of Police
  • Director of Finance Department
  • Director of Law Department
A non-voting representative of the alarm business industry may serve as an advisor/consultant to the Board.

The Alarm Permit Review Board may sustain, modify, or reverse the decision being appealed.

False Alarm Causes

The maintenance and proper use of an alarm system is the responsibility of the alarm user. False alarms can be caused by a variety of things; most are caused by human error. Defective equipment, telephone line trouble, electrical problems, improperly installed or adjusted equipment and overly sensitive sensors also cause false alarms.

Preventing False Alarms

The best way to avoid false alarm fees is to ensure that your system is in good working order and that everyone uses it properly. If you are aware that your system has emitted a false alarm, have your alarm company cancel the police response. If we are canceled within five minutes, you will not be charged. If your system is set off because of a criminal act, report the crime to the Police and contact the Alarm Administrator.