False Alarm Policy

ALARM PROCEDURES FOR MONITORING OF ALARMS

 WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF THE

SAULT STE. MARIE POLICE SERVICE

General Information

The Sault Ste. Marie Police Service does not register alarms companies or premises that are alarmed.  If the alarm holder wishes police monitoring for their premise, all calls for service must come through an alarm monitoring company.  The original request from the alarm monitoring company must come into the Police Service on the dedicated alarm line.

Pertinent Definitions

Alarm Monitoring Company:  any business which monitors alarm systems on behalf of the premise owner and contacts the Police Service when an alarm signal has been activated

Key Holder:  person authorized by the alarm holder to attend at the scene of an alarm to give police access to the premises.  This individual must be able to attend the premises within a reasonable time and be able to operate the alarm system.

False Alarm:  means any alarm, the activation of which results in police attendance at the premises at which the alarm is located, where there has not been any unauthorized entry into the premises; and includes activation by testing, malfunction, human error, or by accident. 

Valid Alarm:  means any alarm whereby the activation was caused by unauthorized entry into any building or property or caused by any other criminal activity in any building or property

Suspension:  the refusal of police response to an alarm call, but does not include refusal of response to a verified criminal act

Caution Notice:  a letter issued to an alarm monitoring company setting out a caution that two false alarms have been received from a premise within a calendar year and two more subsequent false alarms could result in a suspension notice

Suspension Notice:  a letter issued to an alarm holder and alarm monitoring station advising that the premises is in a position whereby it may be suspended if appropriate timely action is not taken

Verification

The Sault Ste. Marie Police Service requires that the monitoring company verify any alarm signal before a request to dispatch is forwarded to the Service from the monitoring station. A verified call will be dispatched to the first available unit at a high priority level.

A non-verified request will be processed at a lower level of priority depending on the availability of cars.  This will include audible premise and car alarms, which are not called in by an alarm monitoring company.  

Cancellations

A request for service may be cancelled by an alarm monitoring company by calling the business line for the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service.  No other party, including the alarm holder, may directly cancel the request for service.

Fees For Monitoring Alarms

The use of the 1-900 dedicated alarm line for the initial requests to monitor alarms directly assesses a charge of 73.50 to the phone bill of the alarm monitoring station which contacts the Police Service.

The Police Service will refund the alarm company of record (not the third party monitoring company) the entire fee when it is determined by the investigating officers that the alarm was a valid alarm (see definitions). 

The Police Service will refund the alarm company of record, (not the third party monitoring company) the amount of the initial fee, less the approved administration charge, when the call is cancelled prior to the arrival of any police units.

Suspension Policy

When a premise has had two (2) false alarms, a caution notice will be faxed to the alarm company. The notice will explain that it is expected that they will contact the customer and advise them of the false alarm situation. The alarm company is encouraged to work with the customer to determine the cause of the false alarms, and what steps could be taken to prevent further occurrences, including re-training in the operation of their alarm system or upgrading or replacing the system.

If the Police Service responds to four (4) false alarms within a twelve (12) month period, a suspension notice will be mailed to the premise advising that they are now in a position where they may be suspended.  A copy of the notice will be immediately faxed to the alarm company, which dispatched the most recent alarm, advising them of the situation. If there is no written response within 21 days from either the alarm company or the alarm holder outlining what actions have been taken to reduce the false alarms, the company will be put on the suspension list.  The suspension will continue until such time that the alarm company and the alarm holder can satisfy the Police Service that action has been taken to curb the false alarm problem.  If there is no response to the suspension the premise will remain suspended for 365 days from the first of the four false alarms.

It is the collective responsibility of the alarm company and the alarm holder to establish alternate response arrangements for the premise during any suspension by the Police Service.

Alarm monitoring companies who fail to comply with the policies and procedures of the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service may also be placed under suspension. As the Service does not register all alarmed premises within the jurisdiction, premise owners, or managers should ensure that the company who monitors their alarms are not suspended. Suspended companies (not premises) will be posted on this website.

SUSPENDED ALARM COMPANIES

There is currently no alarm company under suspension with our Service.

 

FALSE ALARM REDUCTION TIPS

  • Ensure everyone using your alarm system is familiar with the system.
  • Secure doors and windows before turning on the alarm system.
  • Be aware of changes in your environment that may activate the alarm (i.e. seasonal decorations, plants, presence of pets in the building)
  • Replace batteries in panic buttons and wireless sensors at least once a year and the larger battery in the control panel every three to five years.
  • Have the alarm system routinely inspected and maintained by qualified personnel.
  • Ensure that your alarm company has a complete and updated list of key-holders and instructions
  • Ensure that everyone is out of your premise before setting the alarm.
  • Check all door and window contacts and ensure that they are tight and secure.
  • Dust around motion sensors on a regular basis.  Insects like to live inside motion detectors.
  • Notify your alarm company if you acquire any pets.
  • Cancel false alarms through your alarm company prior to police arrival.
  • Ensure that service personnel are familiar with your system.
  • Test your system regularly!

 Contact your alarm company prior to testing your system.

 Sault Ste Marie Police Service Alarm Contact Information:

Mailing Address:
580 Second Line East
Sault Ste. Marie ON   P6B 4K1

Alarm Program Administration:
Telephone:  705-949-6300 extension 324
Fax: (705) 949-3082