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How to register a home alarm in Charlotte

Anyone living within the city of Charlotte or in unincorporated areas of Mecklenburg County must register the burglary alarm at their home.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — To help prevent the number of false alarms, some municipalities require residential burglary alarms to be registered and permitted. 

In 1996, the Charlotte City Council and Mecklenburg County Commissioners adopted the alarm ordinance intended to reduce the number of excessive false alarms warranting a response from police, fire and medical personnel. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department alone receives over 50,000 alarm-activated requests for service each year, according to city data. CMPD found 98% of those alarm activations were false alarms.

Anyone living within the city of Charlotte or in unincorporated areas of Mecklenburg County outside of other townships must register their electric burglary alarm system. 

A permit is valid for 12 months from the date of issuance and will allow officials to track false alarms at a given address. Permits are nontransferable between addresses. 

Fire, automotive, and medical alarms do not need to be registered.

Related: Nearly all alarm calls are false alarms, data shows

What is a false alarm

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department 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 employees or agents, and signals activated to summon police personnel unless law enforcement response was canceled by the alarm user or his agent before police personnel arrive at the alarm location. An alarm is false within the meaning of this article when, upon inspection by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, evidence indicates that no unauthorized entry, robbery, or other such crime was committed or attempted in or on the premises which would have activated a properly functioning alarm system.”

If a resident disagrees with the police department's determination that an alarm was falsely activated, the resident may appeal the decision within 30 days of the notification of the financial fine. Appeals can be emailed to alarms@cmpd.org

Financial fines for false alarms

After three or more false alarms, a resident may be issued a monetary fine in accordance to amounts outlined in the city's alarm ordinance:

  • First and second false alarm: No Charge
  • Third, fourth, and fifth false alarms: $50 each
  • Sixth and seventh false alarms: $100 each
  • Eighth and ninth false alarms: 8 & 9 $250 each
  • Ten or more false alarms: $500 each

There is no charge or fine for valid calls that are not determined to be false alarms.

The city of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County reserve the right to discontinue police response to any address that does not pay their fines within 30 days.

The fees are used to offset the city’s administrative costs of the program, according to official documentation.

Fines can be paid online or by mailing a check made payable to "Charlotte alarm Manage Service" to: PO Box 602486 Charlotte, NC 28260-2486. You can call 1-877-893-5269 for assistance.

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How to register an alarm in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County

Residential burglary alarms in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County can be registered online, by phone, or by mail.

On behalf of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, Crywolf maintains a website to register alarms, pay fines, and manage your permit.

You can also call 877-893-5269 to renew or update a permit, pay a fine, and manage your account.

You can also register an alarm by mall. Call 877-893-5269 to request a form be mailed to you. The form for new alarm activation can then be returned to: PO Box 954149 Lake Mary, Florida 32795. 

You can visit the CMPD's False Alarm Reduction Unit in-person at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department headquarters, which is located in Uptown Charlotte at 601 E. Trade St. Charlotte, NC 28202. They can be reached by phone at 704-432-043.

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Ways to avoid false alarm activations

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department found the common causes of false alarms include: 

  • Unlocked or loose doors and windows
  • Children, neighbors and visitors unknowingly opening doors or windows
  • Cleaning crews, contactors, pet sitters, realtors and other hired businesses
  • Pets or other animals
  • User error and equipment malfunction

For the latest breaking news, weather and traffic alerts, download the WCNC Charlotte mobile app.

Do other towns, cities, and counties require registration?

Yes, some other local governments also require residential alarms to be registered. In the City of Belmont in Gaston County, North Carolina, residential alarm systems must also be registered in accordance with their local alarm ordinance. In Belmont, the cost of registration is $40.  

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