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If you plan to install an alarm system in your office, retail location, or rental property, you will first need an alarm permit approved by your local law enforcement.

Why You Need an Alarm System

Even if it weren’t required by law, having an alarm system that alerts you of burglary, fire, or even harmful gas’ presence on your property can save you thousands of dollars in loss. Alarms have been proven to thwart theft, and if you have tens of thousand of dollars in inventory at your location, you want to prevent it from being taken. Alarms can alert your local fire department if there is smoke or fire that may erupt into a devastating disaster. And if there is carbon monoxide or other harmful gas leaking into your office space, you can prevent serious injury or even death with an alarm that forewarns you of its presence.

That being said, local law enforcement wants you to have a business license to reduce the number of false alarm calls they receive. Many cities’ emergency services will not respond to any alarm that has not had an approved alarm system permit. That can put your business in danger, so it’s best to just get the alarm permit.

What You Need to Know About False Alarms

Understandably, it’s expensive for police and emergency services to respond to false alarms. Many cities have measures in place that if your alarm goes off and there is not an emergency, you may receive a warning or even a fine for the false alarm. The purpose of this is to reduce these false alarms and ensure that all alarm systems with alarm permits are functioning properly and only go off in case of actual emergency.

Filing Your Alarm Permit

Check the website for your city’s police department to find out which business licenses, permits & tax forms you need to fill out. You can usually locate the alarm permit application online. The fee for this type of building license is typically nominal (under $50) and must be paid annually with renewal. If your alarm system covers burglary, theft, and harmful gas, you may be required to pay additional fees for each service your alarm provides.

If you have multiple locations for your business, you will need an alarm permit for each. And remember: you must have an alarm permit approved before you can use it, so schedule enough time for this prior to opening your location.