Alarms and Keyholders
False Alarm Prevention
More than 95% of the intrusion alarms received within Charlotte County are false. False alarms present a serious threat to the effectiveness of our Sheriff's Office and the safety of County citizens. False alarms are costly and dangerous because they divert deputies from proactive crime prevention efforts and delay responses to calls that may be true emergencies. It is the goal of your Sheriff's Office to eliminate false intrusion alarms within our County.
In an effort to reach this goal the Charlotte County Board of Commissioners amended Charlotte County Code Chapter 2-5, Article VI, requiring the registration of security alarm systems and penalizing owners of alarm systems that generate multiple false alarms. The amendment to the County Code benefits the public by:
- Placing the cost of responding to repeated false alarms on the user
- Reducing the number of false alarms
- Reducing the disturbance caused to others by false alarms, especially in residential neighborhoods
- Reducing the time deputies spend responding to false alarms
- Encouraging users and alarm monitoring companies to better maintain their systems, resulting in better security and fewer false alarms
You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the Alarm Ordinance and the registration form. You can choose to print out the registration form and complete it by hand or you can use Acrobat Reader to fill out the application. If you fill out the form using Acrobat Reader, you will need to print your completed registration form before you close the program. It will not let you save the completed form. Once the form has been completely filled out using one of the above methods, it can be mailed to the address listed on the bottom, or turned in at a district office. Please do not forget to include your check or money order made out to Charlotte County Sheriff's Office.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Will I be charged for alarm activations that are not false?
A. No, you will never be charged for an alarm activation that is not false. This amendment allows charges for false alarms only.
Q. As an alarm subscriber, do I need to register with the Sheriff's Office?
A. Yes, both business and residential subscribers must register once a year. You may obtain a registration form at any Charlotte County Sheriff's District Offices or by contacting the Alarm Coordinator at (941) 575-5284
Q. Is there a fee to register or renew?
A. Yes, there will be an initial $25 registration fee, renewal fees will be $10 per year.
Q. Is there any way I can avoid paying renewal fees?
A. Yes, if you were not cited for any false alarms during your current registration year then your renewal fee will be waived.
Q. What is a registration year and when does my registration expire?
A. Your registration year begins the date you pay your initial registration fee. Your registration expires 12 months from your registration date.
Q. What if my alarm is activated accidentally?
A. For the first two false activations, there is no fine. Any additional false activation within a one-year period will result as follows:
|Sixth||Court Appearance Required|
You can also get one free false activation by succesfully taking the False Alarm Prevention Quiz!
Q. Does someone need to respond to deactivate my alarm?
A. Yes, when you register you must supply the names of three people who can respond within thirty (30) minutes.
Q. Does the Sheriff's Office keep all the monies collected?
A. No, fines go into the public safety fund for the county, except for registration and renewal fees, which will go into a separate operational fund for False Alarm Prevention.
Q. If my alarm is activated by a storm or power outage, am I held responsible?
A. No, this is an exception. Alarms occurring during electrical power surges, electrical storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, and other acts of God where there is no clear evidence of physical damage are all exceptions.
Q. If I disagree with an assessed fine, can I appeal?
A. Yes, a hearing can be requested before the Charlotte County Clerk of the Court. Any questions please call 941-637-2121.
Human error is the largest single cause of false intrusion alarms!
- Know your system and password.
- Make sure all doors and windows are locked.
- Before setting your alarm, make sure family pets are in a "safe" area where they will not disturb motion sensors.
- Do not allow any moving item to remain in an area where a motion sensor is located. Loose banners, fans and balloons can cause false alarms.
- Have your system serviced on a regular basis.
- Make sure that your emergency contact list is current and accurate.
Alarm Coordinators Duties
The Alarm Coordinator oversees and performs administrative and operational activities pertaining to the investigation, charging, delivery and follow-up duties relevant to Charlotte County Code Chapter 2-5, Article VI, which regulates security alarms. Responsibilities include implementing, enforcing and coordinating all Sheriff's Office False Alarm Prevention activities, and developing and promoting public awareness and community education programs. The Alarm Coordinator serves as the primary program contact and liaison between the Sheriff's Office and the public.
False Alarm Prevention
Alarm Coordinator: June Scopino
Business Keyholder Program
The Charlotte County Sheriff's Office announces a new registration service to all commercial businesses that presently do not have an audible alarm system. The service allows deputies and emergency services, responding to calls at your business, access to contact information of key holders. Access to this information is restricted to the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office and other emergency services. Businesses that have alarm systems DO NOT need to register for the key holder program, however, they are still required to register their security alarm.
Businesses that have alarm systems DO NOT need to register for the key holder program, however, they are still required to register their security alarm.
Registered key holders should live locally and be able to respond to the property within 20 minutes.
Click here to download a Business Keyholder Registration form (PDF). You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the file.
You can choose to print out the form and complete it by hand or you can use Acrobat Reader to fill out the form. If you fill out the form using Acrobat Reader, you will need to print your completed form before you close the program. It will not let you save the completed form.
Key holder registration forms can also be picked up and turned in to any of the Sheriff's Office district locations or the Crime Prevention Unit:
For further information please call the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office Alarm Coordinator at 941-575-5284.