False Alarms

Why are false alarms an issue?

The number of false alarms in the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry consumes a significant quantity of police service resources. The registration of security alarm systems is an integral part of the strategy to reduce the number of false alarms in the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry.  The program promotes education and discipline of alarm users and alarm companies, and enhances officer safety. Alarm systems are designed to protect lives and property. Properly installed, used and maintained alarms are an asset. When misused, they become a liability.

Reacting to false alarms costs taxpayers thousands of dollars in police time and equipment.

  • A false alarm can endanger responding officers and the whole community as it may delay an officer from responding to a real emergency.
  • False alarms can lead neighbours to ignore your alarm when it goes off making your system less reliable and less credible.
  • False alarms make you reluctant to arm your system, exposing your home or business to undetected theft or damage.
  • False alarms can cost you fines.

The number of Alarm Registrations has increased by 38.88% since the implementation of the Police Services Board False Alarm Program and there has been a 60.58% decrease in alarm calls, allowing more efficient use of police resources.

What can I do to reduce the number of false alarms?

  • Equipment should be routinely inspected and maintained.
  • Ensure all users have been trained on the proper use of the alarm systems operation.
  • Secure doors and windows before turning on the system.
  • Be aware of changes in the environment (i.e. new animals, design changes, seasonal decorations, plants, etc.)

What is a false alarm?

False alarm means an alarm dispatch request to the Police Service, when the responding officer finds no evidence of a criminal offence or attempted criminal offence after having completed a timely investigation of the alarm site. An alarm is considered false when it is activated unnecessarily, improperly or for a purpose other than that for which it was installed, including:

  • Mechanical failure
  • Unauthorized testing
  • Atmospheric conditions (i.e. weather)
  • Excessive vibrations
  • Power failure
  • And user error


No alarm user shall operate an alarm system at its alarm site without a valid registration issued by the Alarm Coordinator. A separate registration is required for each alarm site. There is a $50.00 registration fee for monitored and non-monitored residential and business alarm systems. Applicants aged 65 years or more at the time of registration are exempt from the registration fee.

An alarm user shall be subject to warnings, and administrative fees, depending on the number of false alarms emitted from an alarm system within each one (1) year period from the date of registration or renewal based upon the following schedule:

Fees for False Alarms

No. of False AlarmsFee

In addition, an alarm user whose alarm system causes a request for police response to a false alarm to a non-registered alarm site will be subject to an administrative fee of $200.00, in addition to any other administrative fees.


The Alarm Coordinator will notify the alarm user in writing after false alarm incidents occur.

Appeal Process

An alarm user may appeal the assessment of an administrative fee to the Alarm Coordinator. An appeal fee of $25 will accompany the appeal by the alarm user. Appeal fees will be returned to the alarm user if the appeal is upheld.