Noise from domestic audible intruder alarms often results in complaints to the council's environmental health service.
Most of the time the alarm has not been activated by an intruder, but may continue to cause disturbance to surrounding neighbours for several hours.
If the alarm continues to sound for more than 20 minutes and the environmental health officer is satisfied that the noise is causing a statutory nuisance, formal action will be taken to silence the alarm, which involves obtaining a warrant from the magistrates' court to enter the premises and the use of specialist contractors to gain access, deactivate the alarm and if necessary change locks to leave the house secure.
The cost of carrying out this work can be recovered from the owner of the house, and can run into hundreds of pounds.
The following steps would help to minimise the risk of an alarm causing problems to your neighbours:
- Make sure the alarm is fitted with a 20-minute cut-out device
- Have the alarm serviced periodically
- Provide the council with details of keyholders who can be contacted should the alarm sound unnecessarily while you are away from home (especially if you are on holiday); if the council has details of keyholders we will always attempt to contact them first
- Tell your neighbours how to get hold of the keyholders
To advise us of details of your nominated keyholders please use the online registration form below.