“In 2020 the Sheriff’s Office received more than 1,400 alarm calls; 800 of those incidents were found to be false alarms,” Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal said. “False alarms impact our ability to respond quickly to true emergencies, tying up deputy time and wasting limited resources. Alarm Permits and false alarm fees help to recoup some of those lost costs and motivate alarm owners to reduce and eliminate false alarms of their systems.”
Pursuant to Humboldt County Code Chapter 916, all persons with monitored alarm systems - any residential or business security system that requests law enforcement response with activation- are required to obtain an Alarm Permit for the system every two years.
Permitting requirements only apply to monitored alarm systems. Residents owning cameras or other security devices that are not monitored by a security company or trigger a law enforcement response upon activation are not mandated to obtain a permit under County Code Chapter 916.
Apply for an Alarm Permit
To apply for an Alarm Permit, residents should first download the Alarm Permit Application Form. The application should be completed and returned to the Sheriff’s Office Main Station with payment of the New Alarm Permit Fee ($50). Residents must apply for a permit prior to installing a monitored security system or be subject to a $200 fine. Permits must be renewed every two years for a renewal fee of $25.
Under the current approved fee schedule, residents with an Alarm Permit on file are granted two free false alarms per 12-month period. A third false alarm within that timeframe will subject the alarm owner to a $50 fine, with each subsequent false alarm fee increasing in cost, maxing out at $200 per false alarm for six or more false alarms in a 12-month period. Residents may also be subject to late penalties for failure to pay any of the above alarm fees.
Notice of Fees
2021 Fees for Alarm Permits
|Permit Renewal (biannually)||$25|
|Late Application Fee||$100|
|Permit Reinstatement Fee||$200|
|False Alarms||2 free per 12-month period|
|Third (3rd) False Alarm in 12-month period||$50|
|Fourth (4th) False Alarm in 12-month period||$100|
|Fifth (5th) False Alarm in 12-month period||$150|
|Sixth+ (6th+) False Alarm in 12-month period||$200|
|Alarm Business failure to notify customers||$50|
|Alarm Permit Violation - First Offense||$50|
|Alarm Permit Violation - Second Offense||$100|
|Alarm Permit Violation - Third Offense||$200|
|Alarm Permit Violation - Fourth Offense||Permit Revoked|
|Alarm Fees 30-day late payment penalty||$5|
|Alarm Fees 60-day late payment penalty||$10|
|Alarm Fees 90-day late payment penalty||$15|
|Failure to apply for a permit prior to installing an alarm.||$200|
False Alarm Appeal Process
Humboldt County False Alarm Ordinance, Chapter 6, defines a false alarm as: "An alarm signal that prompts a response by the Sheriff’s Department when an emergency does not exist."
If you would like to appeal a false alarm fee notice submit a written appeal to the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office. Return it to the office within twenty (20) business days after the assessment of false alarm fee, revocation, or suspension is issued. You may file an appeal by using the False Alarm Appeal Request Form or submit a written letter containing the following information:
- Your name, the alarm location, date(s) of the false alarm(s), your permit number.
- A description of the action taken to discover and eliminate the cause of the false alarm(s);
- The specific reason(s) if any, why the false alarm(s) should not be subject to an assessment.
Send your appeal request to:
Humboldt County Sheriff's Office
826 4th Street
Eureka, CA 95501
False Alarm Appeal Guidelines
Requests for appeal(s) must be filed within twenty (20) business days after the notice of the false alarm fee, revocation, or suspension is issued. All fields must be filled out, including a specific reason(s) (if any) why the false alarm(s)should not be subject to an assessment fee.
Appeals are NOT generally granted as a result of the following:
- An occurrence where there was no evidence of criminal or attempted criminal activity present, or there was not a hold-up in progress when the officer arrived on scene.
- Faulty, defective, or malfunctioning equipment.
- Improper installation or maintenance by the alarm business.
- Improper monitoring by the monitoring company.
- Mistake made by owners, family members, employees, private contractors, maids, cleaning crews, caretakers, maintenance employees, apartment management employees.
- Alarm activations which occur while alarm technicians are repairing or servicing the alarm system.
- Items within the home or business which move and cause motion detectors to activate, (i.e. curtains, signs, balloons, pets/rodents/wildlife, etc.).
- Glass breakage detectors which activate due to noise/sound other than actual glass breakage.
- Door and/or windows that are loose or become loose and cause a break in the contacts which activate the alarm.
- Interruption of electrical power supply due to weather, unless outage is more than (4) hours.
- Pets, rodents, or wildlife movement in or near the home business.
- Alarms caused by apartment management employees.