Home Alarm Permits
Frequently Asked Alarm-Related Questions
1. "Isn't it the responsibility of my alarm company to make sure that all the proper permits are obtained?"
Obtaining an alarm permit is the responsibility of the home/business owner.
2. "Do I have to get a permit if I install my alarm myself?"
Yes. Every alarm system – whether or not it's monitored – in the City of Dothan is required to have a permit. There is a One Time $25.00 application fee and the permit does not expire while you reside in the city limits of Dothan.
3. "I've had my alarm for 20 years. Why wasn't I told I need a permit before?"
Some alarm companies work much more closely with the police department than others. Alarm companies who have had a business in Dothan for a while should have informed you of the local requirements; however, many alarm companies have customers in numerous areas, and it can be difficult to keep track of every ordinance in every area. The bottom line is that all alarm users have a responsibility to make sure that their system is legal – similar to how the owner of a car must make sure that the registration and insurance forms are filled out and submitted on time.
4. "If the alarm does its job and scares off a prowler who's trying to break in, why should I be billed? How is that a false alarm?"
If someone tries to break in, there will typically be some evidence of tampering: pry marks around a door, a torn or removed screen, a broken window, etc. If there isn't any such evidence, police have to assume that the cause of the alarm is unknown…which means it's a false alarm.
If your windows and doors wiggle enough to set off your alarm, you need to either tighten up security, or have your alarm's sensitivity adjusted.
5. "Does it matter which alarm company I choose?"
Selecting an alarm company should be like any other big decision you make. Don't be pressured into "limited time only" deals unless you know that the product – and the service! – is exactly what you're looking for. Many alarm companies try to get your business by claiming that their "special offer" cannot be beaten, but there are a LOT of alarm companies out there. Some use better equipment, some provide more personal service, and unfortunately, some seem to make a sale and disappear overnight. Feel free to shop around, and make sure that the alarm system you are buying is going to meet your needs.
6. "What's really the big deal about a few alarms going off at my house year? That's what the police are for!"
Having false alarms is like having a car that starts less than 10% of the time. Less than 10% of all alarm calls are related to legitimate criminal activity. Consider this: if officers are out checking an alarm that was set off by someone's cat, they can't be across town responding to a traffic accident or a domestic violence call. Where do you want the police when you have a legitimate emergency?