This post, originally published September 2013, has been updated to reflect current linking. For the latest information about Alarm Registration for businesses in Cobb, Dekalb, Fulton, and Gwinnett Counties, see our Alarm Registration Customer Support page.
The City of Atlanta introduced a new ordinance, which will require all businesses and home residents to register their alarm systems. Effective Sept. 15, Atlanta businesses and residents will be required to register their alarm system and burglar alarms in an attempt to reduce the number of false alarms that authorities respond to. Residents need to register their alarms at www.crywolfservices.com/atlantaga/ or by calling 1-855-725-7102 by Feb. 1, 2014 to avoid a $150 fee. Registration is free.
Last year, the Atlanta police department responded to 65,000 alarm system. Over 95% were false alarms. The AJC spoke with Atlanta Police Chief George Turner. He said, “Our police officers take every alarm call seriously. This new program will allow our officers to spend more time responding to true emergencies.”
The new ordinance is an attempt to reduce the number of false alarms that Atlanta Police and fire departments respond to each year. After the first false alarm, each homeowner will receive a warning. However, upon the second alarm, there will be a $50 fee , and fees will continue to increase after the second false alarm as determined by the Atlanta Police Department.
Atlanta False Alarm Ordinance FAQs
The City of Atlanta published the following frequently asked questions and responses to help residents understand the new ordinance.
How can I cancel my alarm registration or close my account?
If you have moved from a location where you currently have a valid alarm permit in place, or if you no longer have a monitored alarm system or audible alarm system covered by this ordinance, you may contact us at (855) 725-7102 or [email protected] notifying us to cancel the permit. Please ensure that when you email this request you include your name, address and account number.
**Please Note: If you have had a false alarm within the past 6 months you may be required to provide additional documentation from your monitoring company in order to have the account closed.**
How can I help prevent false alarms?
Make sure that you immediately report your false alarm to your alarm company, so they can cancel with police dispatch prior to police arrival to your home or business. Ensure that everyone in your household or business has been properly trained on your alarm system. Make sure your alarm system is in good working order and inspected periodically by your alarm company.
How do I register my alarm system?
If you are not registered with the City, please follow the below directions to complete the registration application on our website.
- Go to https://www.crywolf.us/atlantaga
- Click on “ New Accounts”
- Click on “ Apply for a Permit”
- Complete all tabs with required information
- Click “Submit” and you will be provided with your completed registration form to keep for your records
What is the cost of an alarm permit registration?
There is no cost to register your alarm system; however, alarms must be renewed on an annual basis. If a false
alarm occurs on a system that is not registered, the alarm user will be subject to a $150 non-registration penalty for being in violation of the City Ordinance.
Who determined the fine amount for false alarms?
The fine structure for false alarms was developed by the City of Atlanta and approved by The Atlanta City Council. The fine structure is in line with those fines implemented in other municipalities across the Country.
Who is required to have an alarm permit/license?
The City of Atlanta False Alarm Ordinance covers all residential and business security and burglar alarm systems within the City limits. It also covers privately maintained fire and carbon monoxide alarms in residential single and dual family homes. Fire alarm systems that are mandated by the City’s fire code are NOT covered by this ordinance but are subject to operational and maintenance guidelines outlined in the Chapter 78 of the City’s Fire Code.
What happens if I do not register my alarm?
Alarm systems that are not registered with the City are subject to a $150 non-registration penalty for being in violation of the City Ordinance. The same penalty will apply if you do not renew your alarm permit on an annual basis.
Are false alarms a problem?
Yes, they are. Across the nation, the growth of alarm system ownership has resulted in a tremendous number of
false alarms. The response to false alarms has created an additional burden on law enforcement agencies. Nationwide, approximately 99% of all burglar alarms police respond to are false and about 20% of fire alarm calls are determined to be false.
What does the City hope to accomplish by enforcing the false alarm ordinance?
The City wants to substantially reduce the number of false alarms that emergency personnel responds to, thereby freeing up emergency personnel to respond to actual emergencies.
Will I be charged for alarm activations that are not false?
No, you will not be charged for a false alarm activation that is not false as this ordinance only allows charges for false alarms. If you are charged for an alarm that you do not believe was false then you can file an appeal within 14 days.
What if my alarm is activated accidentally?
For the first false alarm activation each permit year, there is no fine. All additional false alarm activation fines are as follows:
- 2nd $50
- 3rd $100
- 4th- 6th $200
- 7Plus $500
The 2nd false alarm fine can be waived if the alarm user completes an online alarm awareness class offered by the City. The alarm awareness class can only be taken one time within a 365 day period, only the 2nd false alarm fine can be waived, and you have to pass the class with a 70% or higher on the first attempt. To attend the online awareness class you will need your account number and password then please follow the below directions:
- Go to https://www.crywolf.us/atlantaga
- Go to “Registered Alarm Users” and sign in
- Click on “Attend Alarm Awareness Class”
Once the alarm awareness class has been completed and you have passed, please allow 24 hours to have your
false alarm fine waived, if applicable.
What types of alarm systems are addressed under this ordinance?
The City of Atlanta False Alarm ordinance covers all residential and business security and burglar alarm systems. It also covers privately maintained fire and carbon monoxide alarms in residential single and dual family homes.
If I disagree with an assessed fine, can I dispute the charge?
Yes. If you disagree, the ordinance does have a dispute provision. The Alarm User may appeal an assessment of
a false alarm fine to the City by setting forth in writing the reasons for the appeal within fourteen (14) days of the date of the notice sent.
Be sure to include your name, the alarm location, date of the false alarm, your permit number, reasons for the
dispute and any supporting evidence. Additional details can be found on the “Guidelines on How to File a Dispute” tab under False Alarm Prevention”.
Do I have to register my car alarm?
No, car alarms do not need to be registered.
Can I pay online?
Yes, you can pay online at this website. You will need to use your account number and password.
What will happen if I do not pay my alarm fines?
Failure to pay civil penalties or late fees assessed under this ordinance within 30 days from the date of the original invoice will result in a 50% late fee. Furthermore, those penalties not paid within 90 days from the date of the original invoice will be cause for the City of Atlanta to forward any alarm user’s outstanding penalties and/or late fees to a collections agency. Collection fees will be added by the collection agency to the balance owed to the extent allowed by law.
What is the effective date for the ordinance?
The alarm ordinance will go into effect in September 15, 2013.
I received duplicate alarm invoices at my address; what can I do?
If you received a duplicate alarm invoice, please contact us at (855) 725-7102, so we can delete the incorrect
Where can I read or obtain a copy of the ordinance?
The alarm ordinance is posted online at this website under “False Alarm Prevention”.
Who can I call if I have additional questions or comments?
Call us at (855) 725-7102, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.