False Alarm Reduction Program

The City of Naperville's False Alarm Reduction program is an effort to reduce the third most frequent call for service. Since the implementation of this new ordinance in 1989, false alarm calls have been reduced by nearly 20%.

What is a false alarm?

A false alarm occurs when a security system is activated where there is no emergency – whether it is activated willfully, unintentionally, negligently or inadvertently. It also includes a system activated due to mechanical or electrical malfunction.

A false alarm does not occur when an alarm system is activated by an attempted or actual illegal entry, theft or robbery; an observable act of vandalism; testing or repairing of telephone or electrical line or equipment outside the premises, so long as prior notice of the testing or repair is given to the Naperville Police Department.

Are false alarms a problem in Naperville?

Yes. The Naperville Police Department responds to approximately 8-10 per day. Responding to a false burglar alarm call consumes an average of 15 minutes, per alarm, per officer – and represents as many as five hours of police time per day! Thus, officers are diverted from actual emergencies, proactive patrol and community policing activities.

What happens when your burglar alarm system is activated?

City ordinance states that all alarm monitoring companies should verify the activated signal to determine whether the burglar alarm signal requires immediate response. Your alarm monitoring company will not wait for the verification process if it receives a panic, duress or hold-up signal. They will dispatch police personnel immediately. If the alarm monitoring company does not receive proper cancellation codes, the Naperville Police Department will be contacted and emergency personnel will be dispatched to your location. Police cannot be canceled for panic or hold-up alarms.

To avoid false burglar alarm activations, review your cancellation policy with your alarm monitoring company. Make sure all contact information is up to date.

Before you activate your alarm system:

  • Make sure that you and others who use the security system (employees, children, cleaning crews, etc.) are fully educated on its proper operation. 
  • Make sure you securely close and lock all protected doors and windows.
  • Know and rehearse the process to cancel an accidental alarm. Anyone with your key should know this process. KNOW YOUR CODES
  • Know how much time you have after you arm your system to leave and to disarm your system when you enter.

What are the most frequent causes of false alarms?

  • User Error- Accidental activation by cleaning crews, new employees, children, house sitters, cleaning people, dog walkers, etc.
  • Using incorrect keypad codes or not knowing keypad codes.
  • Unlocked or loose doors/windows.
  • Failing to train authorized users.
  • Wandering pets.
  • Failure by businesses to notify monitoring company of unscheduled openings and closings.
  • Not requiring the monitoring company to notify persons on the contact list before calling the police.
  • Improper installation of equipment.
  • Faulty equipment, keypads, batteries, panels, detectors.
  • Helium-filled balloons.

What are the consequences of having a police response for an activated false burglar alarm?

  • First two (2) false burglar alarm activations = no fee.
  • Three through five = $100 for each false alarm activation.
  • Six through 10 = $200 for each false alarm activation.
  • 11 and over = $350 for each false alarm activation.

In addition, the Chief of Police may order the restricted response of police department personnel to any location with eleven (11) or more false alarm activations in a 12-month period or with unpaid fees for sixty (60) or more days. Restricted response means that police department personnel will not respond to your location when your burglar alarm is activated.

You will receive notification informing you of the date and time of each activation and the fee schedule imposed by the City of Naperville. In addition, invoices are mailed with each notification where applicable.

If you feel a false alarm was classified in error, you may appeal the decision by submitting a written report to the False Alarm review department within fourteen (14) days for the date of the notice. Additional details can be found on the “Guidelines to File a False Alarm Dispute.”

Do I need a permit or to register my burglary alarm system?

No, the City of Naperville does not require businesses or residential properties to obtain a permit or to register a burglar alarm system. 


Julie Smith

Crime Prevention Specialist
TEL: (630) 305-5450 EMAIL: smithju@naperville.il.us