A faulty alarm can cause serious noise problems at neighbouring properties. It is recommended that if you have an intruder alarm you:
- Buy a good quality alarm system suitable for your property
- Install the alarm according to the instructions, or have a specialist contractor install it for you
- Regularly service the alarm system to ensure it operates correctly
- Test the alarm from time to time
- Ensure that the alarm sounder stops after 20 minutes and that the alarm does not re-arm
- Ensure that you have at least 2 nominated key holders who can attend your property to disarm the alarm in an emergency
- Provide immediate neighbours with details of how to contact your key holders in an emergency
- Provide the Environmental Protection Team with details of how to contact your key holders in an emergency Download the key holder registration form
In order for an intruder alarm to be effective your neighbours must react to its sounding. If an alarm sounds regularly neighbours are less likely to take notice and investigate the problem.
Making a complaint:
If you are disturbed by a continually sounding alarm, Officers from the Environmental Protection Team may be able to silence it.
Before contacting us:
- Identify the address of the premises on which the alarm is sounding
- Ask neighbours if they have contact details for key holders
- Try to locate the sounder (normally located within a square box on the front of the property)
- Make a note of the sounder location (approximate height, front or rear garden, behind locked gates etc)
- Note down the alarm company and any displayed telephone numbers if possible
- Check for signs of a break in (making sure you do not put your own personal safety at risk) If there are signs of a break-in contact Kent Police
How we respond (during service hours):
- We will telephone you to discuss the complaint
- We will ask for the details listed above
- We will attempt to contact the key holder (if known)
- If appropriate we may visit you in your home to assess the noise problem
- If a statutory nuisance is occurring we may serve a legal notice on the person responsible. We may then take action to silence the alarm. This may include (as necessary) the need to obtain a warrant for entry, employ a contractor to enter the property, employ an alarm engineer to silence the alarm, change or replace locks
- We will recharge the owner of the alarm our costs incurred silencing the alarm (including the cost of contractors and officer time)
Please be aware that we are unable to investigate anonymous complaints.
Out of Hours:
If you are affected by a continuously sounding alarm outside of normal office hours you can contact the Out of Hours Service in the following times:
- Friday 18:00 to 00:00
- Saturday 18:00 to 00:00
Normally an Out of Hours Officer will telephone you to discuss your complaint. If an alarm can be silenced within the operating hours of the service then we will attempt to do so. However an alarm can take several hours to silence and if we cannot complete the works within the service hours we will be unable to take action until the next working day.
The Council's Out of Hours Service can be contacted on 01322 343434 (please note, Environmental Protection do not charge for calls to our service).