The OPD is dedicated to fighting residential and business burglaries, and will respond whenever possible to alarm activations. However, officers do not know when an alarm is activated by an intruder, or by mistake (false alarm). Responding to false alarms takes time and resources away from other ongoing policing activity. Oakland's Burglar Alarm Ordinance, adopted in 2009 (and available under the False Alarm link above), was created to reduce false alarms. This ordinance authorizes the City to charge and collect fees for permits, alarm registration violations, and services provided.
Before your alarm system is activated, be sure that:
- The alarm company has registered you for the required permit.
- You have registered the alarm and provided information that emergency responders should know about, like the presence of weapons, chemicals, guard dogs/medical animals or pets on the property.
- You have a valid alarm permit.
Once the alarm has been activated, you must:
- Keep your permit registration current (permits must be renewed every year) - alarm companies typically provide this service.
- Operate the alarm system correctly.
- Make sure that other people who will use the alarm also know how to operate it.
- Maintain the alarm system to avoid malfunction and false alarms.
You are also responsible for:
- Paying service fees for false alarms, if applicable.
- Providing the alarm company with the names and numbers of at least three people (besides yourself) who can represent you in your absence and meet with responding police officers at the alarm site when the alarm has been triggered.