Alarm System Information for Henrico Residents and Businesses
Alarm systems can be valuable tools that help prevent and detect breaking and entering on your property. However, the volume of false alarm calls across the County has a substantial effect on police officers’ availability to respond to crimes and other emergency situations.
You may not be aware that Henrico County has an Alarm Ordinance that helps reduce the number of false alarms to which police officers respond. Hopefully the information provided here will explain the ordinance and suggest ways you can help reduce false alarms.
Alarm Ordinance Summary:
There is no charge for the first false alarm. However, it establishes a 180 day period during which you will be billed if you have any additional false alarms. Also, if you have more than six (6) total false alarms (including the first one) during this 180 day period, the Police Division could discontinue responding to your alarm calls.
The fee schedule for false alarms during this 180-day period is as follows:
- First Alarm: No Charge
- Second Alarm: $15.00
- Third Alarm $25.00
- Fourth Alarm $35.00
- Fifth Alarm $50.00
- Sixth Alarm $75.00
- Seventh Alarm *Police Response will be terminated
You must reinstate police response to alarms after the 7th false alarm. Reinstatement requires that you:
- Pay a $100 reinstatement fee.
- Pay your account in full.
- Submit a letter indicating that your alarm system has been inspected by a licensed alarm company and is in proper working order.
If any additional alarms occur at your address, you will be notified via postcard as to the date and time the Police Division received the call.
The Division will bill you at the end of each month. It is important to pay bills promptly. The non-payment penalty may include termination of police response to alarm calls at your address if the account becomes 30 days in arrears AND an additional $100 reinstatement fee.
You must complete and return the Alarm User Information Form available on the Police website at:
Alarm User Application (PDF)
The Alarm Ordinance requires the completion and submission of this form. The form provides the Police Division with important contact information if an alarm or emergency occurs at your business or residence.
Chapter 3 contains information about alarms. Please familiarize yourself with this ordinance. Remember, it is up to you, as the owner or operator, to be proactive and manage your alarm system to reduce false alarms.
Ten Ways You Can Prevent False Alarms
- Know your pass code. This is the number you selected to arm or disarm your alarm system (usually 4 digits) when it was installed.
- Know your password. This is the secret word you gave your alarm company, which identified you as the owner of the alarm system.
- Ensure guests, renters, workers, contractors, or hired help are properly trained on the operation of your alarm system and have the proper pass code and password.
- If you have pets, take special care to purchase an alarm system that is pet friendly. Keep all pets away from the area covered by the motion detectors.
- Keep balloons, decorations, curtains, signs, and hanging plants out of the path of the motion sensor.
- Keep all sensors free of dust and spider webs.
- Make sure all doors and windows are securely closed when you arm your alarm system. Sagging and loose fitting doors and windows may prevent a tight connection with the alarm contact.
- Plan to schedule annual inspections with your licensed alarm company.
- Review the procedure with your monitoring company that you expect them to follow when an alarm activates.
- Turn your cell phone on, and keep it with you when you arm your alarm system. The alarm company can’t contact you if you don’t have your phone with you.