False Alarm Information

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City for La Quinta is seeking to reduce the number of false alarms. Last year, both Police and Fire responded to more than 3,560 false alarms, costing the city more than $400,000 in resources.

 30 Minutes  1  Officer  30 minutes not patrolling or responding to other calls
 30 Minutes  6 Firemen  30 minutes spent clearing a call and not responding to a real emergency.
  • By reducing the number of false alarms, Public Safety officers can respond faster to actual emergencies.
  • Police and Fire can provide additional services to the community.
  • Why is this a problem? False alarms are the most frequent call received by Police and the second most frequent call for Fire.
  • There are numerous locations generating excessive number of false alarms. Repeat offenders ignore notices left by officers, and continue to trigger false alarms on a weekly or monthly basis. 
  • How do you know if you had a false alarm? Every time there is a false alarm, a notice is left at the premise or a letter is sent advising the alarm user that Police or Fire responded to a false alarm. 
  • Once a third false alarm is registered at the same location within a year, a service fee will be imposed. If the service fee is not paid within 15 days, the false alarms will be subject to fines.
  • If a location continues to generate false alarms, the amount of the service fees will increase per the table below:
Fees  Police  Fire
 3rd False Alarm  $50  $50
 4th False Alarm  $100  $250
 5th or more False Alarm  $106  $585

False alarm fees not paid within 15 days are subject to fines per LQ municipal code. 


Tips on Preventing False Alarms

  • Know your arm/disarm code to enter at the keypad
  • Know how to arm/disarm your alarm system
  • Provide guests/employees with training to operate the alarm system, make special arrangements for service personal/technicians 
  • Know how to cancel an alarm, cancel all alarms that don't need emergency response
  • Know your pass code/password with the central station; know the phone number for the central station
  • The central station will call the premise/contact list; answer your phone; keep your contact information current
  • Use pet friendly sensor/devices or limit pet access to certain areas
  • Secure all windows and doors.  Check for open, unlocked and loose-fitting windows and doors - winds and roaming animals can trigger the alarm system
  • Watch for objects near motion detectors.  Heating and air conditioning systems may blow curtains, houseplants, banners/signs, hanging items, decorations and helium balloons
  • Replace batteries in wireless devices
  • Pay attention, don't get distracted and forget to disarm the alarm system
  • If re-entering the premise, don't assume the exit delay is long enough, disarm the system, then rearm when leaving
  • Dust your sensors/devices; remove spider webs and other debris/particles
  • Purchase a quality system installed by a professional - misaligned sensors, technical issues, inadequate installation and poorly made sensors/devices can contribute to false alarms
  • Repair or replace warped or misaligned windows and doors