Alarm Ordinance

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The goal of the City's Alarm Ordinance is to reduce the number of false alarms
Greensboro police respond to, allowing officers to concentrate
on other areas of crime prevention and law enforcement.
Download this brochure and watch this video. 

Alarm Owners' Responsibilities

  • Maintain alarm system equipment
  • Calls received by the Greensboro Police Department (GPD) regardless of how the signal is received
  • Properly secure the premises
  • Be available to or having a designated key holder available to respond to alarm calls
  • Know the operation of the alarm system and educating family members or employees
  • Notify the monitoring service or GPD of non-monitored alarms if police response is not desired or needed
  • Inform the monitoring service and the City's Alarm Coordinator of account name changes and contact information
  • Notify the monitoring service of discontinuation of service or location changes
  • Set up procedures with the monitoring service for notification of alarm activations
  • Inform GPD if evidence of attempted entry or burglary is found
  • Read these Tips for Reducing False Alarms.

False Alarms

Greensboro Code of Ordinance 18-26 states that a false alarm is any alarm signal that solicits police response and to which the responding officer finds no evidence of unauthorized intrusion, attempted unauthorized intrusion, robbery or attempted robbery. False alarms are:

  • Negligently activated signals that are the result of faulty or malfunctioning equipment
  • Signals activated to test the alarm systems that have not been approved by GPD
  • Signals that are purposely activated to summon police in non-emergency situations.

False Alarm Fines

In accordance with Chapter 18-27 of the Greensboro Code of Ordinance, you will receive a notice for the first false alarm that GPD responds to. You will not be fined for the first false alarm in each 12 consecutive month period. 

However, for any subsequent false alarms at the same location within 12 consecutive months from the first alarm, you will be charged a fine. The fine schedule is:
    ~ No fine for the first false alarm  
    ~ $50 for the second false alarm 
    ~ $100 for the third and fourth false alarms 
    ~ $250 for the fifth and up to the ninth false alarms
    ~ $500 for the tenth and all subsequent false alarms.

Appealing False Alarm Fines 

    First False Alarms
Even though you are not charged a fine for the first false alarm, you may want to appeal it so it will not remain on your record. You must file an appeal within 14 days of the date on the first notice you receive. A successful appeal means the second false alarm you are charged with will then become your first official false alarm and subsequent false alarms will be fined according to the fine schedule above.

    Second and Subsequent False Alarms
Whenever you receive a notice about a false alarm, you may file an appeal for that alarm(s), regardless of what may have caused the alarm(s) and regardless of whether the alarm(s) was false or valid (see False vs. Valid Alarms below). Again, all appeals must be filed within 14 days of the date on the notice you receive.   

There are several ways to submit an appeal:

    1.) By mail to the City Alarm Coordinator, PO Box 3136, Greensboro, NC 27402-3136
    2.) By e-mail
    3.) In person at the Melvin Municipal Office Building, 300 W. Washington St., Room UG-29, from 9 am to 4 pm Mondays through Fridays. Note: It is best to first schedule an appointment with the Alarm Coordinator by calling 336-373-2905.

Be sure to include your name, the alarm location, date of the alarm(s), reason for the appeal, and any supporting evidence when filing your appeal.

False vs. Valid Alarms

The following list may help you decide whether to appeal a false alarm and/or contact your alarm company. If the reason for an alarm is one of the items in this list, an appeal will probably be denied. (This list is not intended to cover every situation for which an appeal may be denied.) 

  • Faulty, defective, or malfunctioning equipment
  • Improperly installed or maintained equipment
  • Calls dispatched in error by the monitoring service
  • Power outages/weather
  • Operator/human error
  • Items which cause motion detectors to activate (balloons, curtains, etc.)
  • Activations due to loud noises
  • Improperly secured premises or loose-fitting doors and windows
  • Pets, rodents, or any other animal or insect
  • Signals purposely activated to summon police in non-emergency situations.


Registration and/or alarm permits are not required at this time.

Contact Alarm Coordinator 

For more information about the Alarm Ordinance or police response, contact the Alarm Coordinator at 336-373-2905 from 8 am to 5 pm Mondays through Fridays.

Questions concerning payment of civil penalties should be directed to the City's Collections Division at 336-373-2310 from 8 am to 5 pm Mondays through Fridays.