Noise problems

Noise from alarms

The problem with alarms

We receive many complaints about the noise caused by burglar alarms, especially those that go off at night when their owners are away.

Always try to speak to the householder or business first before contacting us - they may not be aware of the problem.

What you should do if you own an alarm

To make sure you don’t have a problem with your alarm, you should:

  • make sure the alarm is regularly maintained. If a sensor is behaving erratically, get an engineer in to sort it out.
  • make sure that the alarm has a cut out device included and set it to a maximum of 20 minutes. You also need to make sure that the alarm will not go off again unless a different sensor is set off.
  • before you go away, give the key holders details to your neighbours so if it does go off, they can call them.

If you’re affected by a nuisance alarm

Always try to speak to the householder or business first and make them aware of the problem. They may not know the alarm is sounding whilst they are away from the premises and it is an easy problem to fix.

If you can’t contact them or the situation doesn’t improve you can contact us.

How do I make a complaint?

If the alarm is still going off please call us on 01609 767138 as soon as possible so we can deal with the problem straight away. We will initially try and locate a key holder or find out when the occupants are likely to return to the premises.

If the alarm is still causing a problem, we’ll visit the property to make an assessment and speak to neighbours to find out how the noise is effecting or likely to effect them. If we’re satisfied that there is a problem with the alarm, we’ll arrange for it to be disabled – we will try to make sure this is done on the same day.

If the alarm has stopped or is infrequent we can still write to the owners advising of the complaint and giving them more information about maintaining the alarm in the future.

How we can act

New laws mean that the council has the power to take action when:

  • the alarm has been sounding continuously for more than 20 minutes or intermittently for more than an hour
  • the noise is likely to give people living or working nearby reasonable cause for annoyance

We have the power to enter premises to disable the alarm. In most cases we will only need to disconnect the wiring to the external alarm box.

If we need to physically enter the building, we must obtain a warrant. In most cases we will recover the costs of disabling the alarm from the occupier.

Do not go away on holiday without notifying a neighbour or a friend that lives locally who can be contacted to deactivate the alarm and ensure that the alarm is maintained.

Report it

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Further information

Contact the Environmental Health team on 01609 767138 or download this information as a leaflet: