Each state, county, and sometimes city has rules and regulations for licensing of alarm companies and registration of alarm systems to reduce false alarms. This page is a general reference but you should check with your local authority to verify the specific requirements in your area.
Washington DC (District of Columbia) Licensing and Alarm Registration
Washington DC does not require alarm systems be registered with the district. However, they do require that alarm companies be licensed "Security Alarm Agencies" and, if they are installing any hardwire security alarm systems, as "Electrical Contractors".
You may search and verify the license status of companies in Washington DC on the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs business license verification web site security alarm installation companies and security guard companies.
Electrical contractor licenses, for Washington DC, may be verified at the Board in Industry Trades website. DC Requires companies be licensed electrical contractors for the installation of hardwired security alarm systems (commercial and residential), access control systems, video surveillance systems, commercial fire alarm systems, or any other system that requires the installation of any love voltage wiring.
Washington DC currently does not have any false alarm reduction program or alarm registration requirements.
Laws regarding alarm system registration vary state by state and Maryland’s are particularly well enforced. Urban Alarm recommends that you carefully study the local ordinances for your county to ensure that you are within the law. To not follow specific instructions could result in difficulties for local law enforcement and fines for you.
Below we have outlined the rules for three counties surrounding the DC Metro area: Montgomery, Prince George, and Chevy Chase. These are the areas Urban Alarm services.
If you need more details on license and permits, system registration, or anything else regarding alarm system registration, please see the Maryland Division of State Documents (MDSD).
MDSD Alarm System Records: http://www.dsd.state.md.us/comar/SubtitleSearch.aspx?search=29.04.05.*
If you would like any additional information you can contact the Maryland Home Improvement Commission.
E-mail: [email protected]
Maryland (Montgomery County)
Bethesda officials require that you register your alarm system if your system is programmed to dispatch the police. Urban Alarm is happy to provide you with the necessary registration form as well as a signed Installation Certificate. However, you must get the registration form to the police department, either through mail or hand delivery.
In order to lower the number of police officers called due to false alarms, Montgomery County has created the False Alarm Response Section (FARS). FARS has instituted fees as a penalty for false alarms. This is meant to offset the loss of police resources. To view the fee calendar and learn more, click here. (Link on Urban Alarm was dead.)
Please note that under Montgomery county law, your alarm company is not allowed to request a police dispatch to your property until 7 days after your alarm system has been registered. If you believe that there will be high risk to any people or property during the waiting period you may submit a waiver to FARS. To do this, simply call the Administrative Office and request a “burn-in” or “soak” period waiver form.
Maryland (Prince George's County)
Prince George's County requires alarm system registration for all residential and commercial users. In 1996 the county created the False Alarm Reduction Unit (FARU) after discovering that just over 98% of all alarms triggered to request police response were false. FARU works diligently to combat these errors, saving police time and resources. Urban Alarm highly recommends that you comply with their registration codes. Luckily, Prince George's County does not require a fee for registering your alarm system, whether it's residential or commercial. Once you've completed the form, simply mail it in to the address provided at the top and you're done. You can find the necessary registration form here:
FARU Registration Form - http://www.princegeorgescountymd.gov/sites/PoliceDepartment/Services/False-Alarm/Documents/Residential_Alarm_RegistrationFARU-103.pdf
While there's no registration fee required, there are financial penalties for false alarms. These do not begin until the 3rd alarm sent. To find specific fee information, please consult FARU's official website below:
FARU's Web Site - http://www.princegeorgescountymd.gov/sites/PoliceDepartment/Services/False-Alarm/Pages/default.aspx
It should be noted here that after a 6th false alarm, you must have your system inspected and re-certified by your alarm company. This certification includes a $25.00 fee. After 12 false alarms, you must have your system totally upgraded. This certification includes a $50.00 fee.
If you have further questions for FARU, you may reach them by phone at: (301) 883-5465
Maryland (Chevy Chase Village)
Chevy Chase Village requires that any home with an audible alarm system register it with the Village. You are not required to register with Montgomery County. Please note that if your system was installed after June 1984, your system is required to have an automatic shut off after 30 minutes of activation. If your system was installed after October 2014, your system is not permitted to utilize exterior sound equipment.
It is very important in Chevy Chase Village that you make absolutely sure that the alarm company you choose is registered with either Montgomery County or Montgomery County’s Emergency Communications Center (ECC). If they are not registered, neither Chevy Chase Village, nor Montgomery County will be dispatched to assist.
To find the form directly, please go to: http://www.chevychasevillagemd.gov/c/349/alarm-permit-application
Virginia (Fairfax County)
Alarm system registration is not required for residential users in Fairfax County. However, not registering can lead to confusion and even disorder in emergency response procedures. Urban Alarm strongly recommends that you register your system to avoid this.
How to Pick Up A Registration Form:
You have several options available to you to get a registration form.
1. You can pick a form up personally from the City Treasurer’s Office in City Hall.
2. You can request a form through mail by calling (703) 385-7902.
3. You can e-mail them. To do this, visit the Security Alarms section of their website and select the ‘E-mail Us’ link.
There is no registration fee for residential users within Fairfax city limits. If you are a commercial user, there is a fee of $25.
If you are within the Fairfax County line but outside of Fairfax city limits, there is a $25 fee for residential/commercial users.
Fairfax County applies fees for any false alarm that authorities are dispatched to respond to. This applies to all residential, industrial, and commercial properties. You can use the chart below to find all fees for each calendar year.