Noise pollution - Burglar alarms
If you have a burglar alarm fitted to your home or business then by law you have a duty to ensure that it will not cause a nuisance to residents in the locality. eg prevents them from sleeping
If this occurs, and the alarm is not turned off, then the council can take further action. If the Council is required to deal with an alarm causing a statutory nuisance, the owner will be asked to pay any costs incurred. There a number of steps you can take to ensure your alarm does not cause a nuisance.
- Ensure that any alarm fitted to your premises is properly designed. (The British Standard for intruder alarms is 4737 - your alarm should comply with this).
- Ensure that a legitimate alarm engineer, who will be able to set the sensors to the appropriate sensitivity, fits your alarm. This will prevent the alarm sounding unnecessarily.
- Ensure that an alarm engineer, ideally on a contract, maintains your alarm regularly so that you don't forget!
- Ensure that your alarm is fitted with a cut-off device to deactivate the siren or bell after 20 minutes.
- Ensure that at least one of your nominated key holders can respond within 20 minutes of being called out.
What happens when the Council gets involved when an alarm causes a statutory nuisance?
Once the Police are satisfied that there is no criminal activity taking place at the premises, and the Council is satisfied that the noise of the alarm is causing a statutory nuisance, then a legal notice will be served requiring the alarm to be silenced - normally within a short period of time. If this is not complied with then an application will be made to the Duty Magistrate for a warrant to enter the premises.
The Council will engage the services of a locksmith and an electrician, and they will obtain access to the premises and disconnect the alarm. The Council will ensure that upon leaving, the premises is left in a secure condition. This whole process may take several hours.
Who has to pay if an alarm has to be disconnected?
The costs incurred by the council during this process will be recharged to the occupier of the premises. This can be expensive and will include the Council's costs, the costs of the locksmith and the electrician.