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False Alarm Calls

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Business and residential alarm users must register their alarm system with the City of Reno.

This page explains new alarm system registration & permit requirements. Also visit the Alarm Program site for additional information.
Did you know that in 2007, the City of Reno responded to over 10,000 false alarm calls?

False alarms cost the City of Reno and its citizens thousands of dollars per year and take police officers away from actual emergencies. To prevent unnecessary emergency responses to false alarm, on Oct. 10, 2007, the City of Reno adopted a new revised alarm ordinance and program. The revised alarm ordinance was adopted to encourage all alarm users to maintain the mechanical reliability of their alarm system and to properly operate their alarm equipment.

False alarms include

  • Negligently or accidentally activated signals
  • Signals resulting from mechanical or electronic failure, malfunction, improper installation, improper adjustment, or improper maintenance
  • Weather related, except severe weather such as a tornado or earthquake
  • Signals that are purposely activated in non-emergency situations

 Common causes of false alarms include

  • Weak system batteries
  • Wandering pets
  • Open, unlocked, or loose fitting doors and windows
  • Cleaning crews, real estate agents, contractors and house sitters 
  • Employees or family members untrained on the operation of the alarm system

To administer the false alarm reduction program, the City of Reno has contracted with a private company, Alarm Tracking and Billing Services, that has expertise in administering false alarm reduction programs. Alarm Tracking and Billing Services also administers the City of Sparks' alarm program as well as many other cities across the country.

Alarm System Registration & Permit Requirements
The City's revised alarm ordinance establishes new business and residence alarm code requirements. The ordinance also requires business and residential alarm users to register their alarm system with the City of Reno, by paying an annual permit fee. The annual permit fee for both residential and business alarm users is $25. For residential senior residents (60 or older), the annual permit fee is $10.

In addition to the annual alarm permit fee, fees for excessive false alarms will be assessed during each registration period as follows:

  • All False Burglar/Intrusion Alarms $75

False robbery alarms will be assessed at the following schedule during each registration period.

  • All robbery, panic alarms $200

Burglar/Intrusion Alarms will be counted as a cancelled alarm if the monitoring center notifies the Police Communications Center prior to the dispatching of the call to an officer.

If you have any questions about the program or ordinance, you can get additional information at www.atbservices.com/reno or you may call 800-861-5944, M-F, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. If you need additional training on the operation of your alarm system or an alarm maintenance check, please contact your specific alarm installation company directly.

Alarm companies are required to provide the city with a list of their existing alarm users. ATB Services will be contacting the existing alarm users that were provided by the alarm companies, to register them for their permits.

Please visit www.atbservices.com/reno for additional information on:

  • Chief of Police Letter to Alarm Users
  • City of Reno alarm ordinance
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Common alarm errors
  • Chief of Police Letter to Alarm Companies
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