Alarm Permits

Santa Rosa City Code Chapter 6-68 requires that all burglary or robbery alarm users register their alarm system with the Police Department and receive an alarm permit.

The Santa Rosa Police Department receives between seven and fourteen alarm calls per day. Of these calls, about 98% of them turn out to be false (either user error or mechanical failure). The City Ordinance was enacted in February 1984 in order to reduce the number of false alarms in Santa Rosa.

Registering the alarm system requires the alarm user to complete and return an alarm registration application and the required fee. Residential alarm permits are $10 annually. Business alarm permits are $15 annually. Please click here for an alarm permit application. Checks should be made payable to the City of Santa Rosa. To make an alarm permit payment online please click Here.

Click here for a summary of the major points of the Alarm Ordinance.

You may call the Santa Rosa Police Department at (707) 543-3550 if you would like an application sent to you, or if you have any questions.

You may also request an application by sending an e-mail with your name, address of the alarm, mailing address, phone number and your alarm companies name to TMason@srcity.org or LHsieh@srcity.org.

How do I fill out the application?

You may use the same application if applying for a business or residential alarm permit. The application asks for business or resident name, address and phone number. It asks who is responsible for payment of fees, what type of alarm it is (i.e. commercial or residential, audible or silent), the name of the alarm company responsible for service and monitoring. It also asks for emergency contacts in case the alarm user is unavailable when the alarm activates.

What is required of my emergency contacts if my alarm goes off?

Some alarm users have local neighbors or family whom they give a key to their house and their alarm codes. This enables them to turn off the alarm in the case of a malfunction. It also allows them to open the house for the patrol officer responding to the alarm, so the interior may be checked for a possible burglary. This is very helpful to the officer. The contact might also be able to board up a broken window or secure a door in the case of an attempted burglary.

Other alarm users feel uncomfortable giving a key and alarm code to anyone. In this case they may list a neighbor who might be willing to respond to speak to the officer who arrives to check the house. They may also decide not to list anyone. It is up to the individual alarm user.

How does the officer designate an alarm as false?

The City Ordinance defines a false alarm as: an alarm signal necessitating a response by the police department when an emergency does not exist. An emergency is defined as: an occasion which reasonably calls for a response by the police department. A response due to failure of the alarm system or to personal error is not an emergency. Alarms are a priority call in the dispatch center. When the officers respond to a residential or business alarm, they check the perimeter of the building and look for anything suspicious (i.e. pry marks on a door, broken window). They check to be sure all doors and windows are secure. If an emergency contact is available to let them in while they are there, they will search the interior of the building. If the officers do not find any sign of an attempted break-in the alarm is designated as false. Sometimes just a rattle on the door or window may activate the alarm. This could be set off by the wind or a customer attempting to enter a store unaware the store is closed. In these types of cases, it might mean the alarm is too sensitive. Balloons will set off interior motion detectors. Any person who disputes the false alarm designation is asked to send a written request stating why they believe 1) an emergency did exist or 2) the false alarm resulted from an act of God, flooding or other violent natural condition.

What type of fees might be required?

Effective September 14, 2007:

Annual registration fees are $10 for a residence and $15 for a business. False alarm fees in a 12 month period start at $125 for the 2nd false alarm; $150 for the 3rd false alarm; $175 for the 4th false alarm; $200 for the 5th false alarm; $225 for the 6th false alarm; $250 for the 7th false alarm; $275 for the 8th false alarm, and $300 for the 9th. In addition, there will be a $1,000 penalty added for the 10th and each subsequent false alarm in a twelve month period.

What does it mean that an extra fee is charged for each and every false alarm after the first one received by the City in any twelve month period?

When a residence or business has a false alarm, the alarm date and time is listed on their permit file. Each false alarm entered on the record stays on file for exactly twelve months (one year). After that year (to the exact date), the false alarm is removed from the record. If the residence or business has more than one false alarm in any twelve month period, they are charged a false alarm fee. Each false alarm will stay on the permit record until they rotate off the next year. They will continue to count towards the total number of false alarms for the twelve months they are on the record.