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North Miami False Alarm Reduction Program

Guidelines to Appeal

The North Miami alarm ordinance defines a false alarm as: “the activation of an alarm system through mechanical or electronic failure, malfunction, improper installation, or the negligence of the alarm user, his/her employees or agents, and signals activated to summon law enforcement personnel unless law enforcement response was cancelled by the alarm company before law enforcement personnel arrive at the alarm location.”

Appeal Process:

The alarm user may appeal an assessment of the response fee by setting forth in writing the reasons for the appeal within ten (10) days of the incident of the alarm or response with the code enforcement clerk or designee.  Be sure to include your name, the alarm location, date of the false alarm, your permit number, reasons for the appeal, steps you’ve taken to correct the problem, and any supporting evidence.

A special magistrate shall conduct a hearing and consider the evidence presented.

If the violator, after notice, fails to pay the violation or fails to timely request an administrative hearing before a special magistrate, such failure shall constitute a waiver of the violator’s right to an administrative hearing before the special magistrate.  A waiver of the right to administrative hearing shall be treated as an admission of the violation, and penalties shall be assessed pursuant to the amount stated.

Appeals are not generally granted as a result of the following:

  1. Faulty, defective or malfunctioning equipment supplied by an alarm business.
  2. Improper installation or maintenance by an alarm business.
  3. Improper monitoring by an alarm business.
  4. Alarm activations that occur while alarm technicians are repairing or servicing the alarm system.
  5. An occurrence where no evidence of criminal activity is present.
  6. Mistakes made by private contractors, maids, cleaning crews, visitors, etc.
  7. Item(s) within the home or business that move causing motion detectors to activate (i.e. curtains, signs, balloons, etc.).
  8. Doors and/or windows that become loose and cause a break in the contacts that activate the alarm system.
  9. Caretakers who watch homes or businesses when owners are away and who activate the alarm in error or are not familiar with required codes or passwords.
  10. Pets, rodents or wildlife movement in or near the home or business.
  11. Alarms caused by Apartment Management Employees.

In the case of items 1 and 2 above, if you suspect the false alarm was due to faulty equipment or improper installation contact your alarm company.  In such cases, the system should be inspected and repaired where necessary. 

* This list is only intended as a guide to assist you in deciding whether to appeal a false alarm or contact your alarm company for discussion.  This list is not intended to cover every situation where an appeal may be denied.



©2011 City of North Miami