Houston Police Reveal Alarming Details
March 28, 2005 -- The Houston
Police Department would like to remind the public that city ordinance
requires that an alarm permit be obtained for any premises (business
or residence) where a system is installed. The permits, which
must be renewed on a yearly basis, can be obtained by calling
the Houston Police Department
Alarm Detail at 713-308-1400. Information regarding the issuance
of the permits, as well as an application, is also available on
the police department's Web site: click
"We estimate that 90% of buildings and residences
in Houston are not permitted," said Sergeant Joe McGee of
the Alarm Detail. "When we ask as to the reason for not having
a permit, most citizens tell us they did not know that one was
required. It is also important that permits be obtained in order
to ensure that a police unit will respond," he added.
Other information relevant to alarm permits is
Houston police responded to more than 120,000
burglar alarms in 2003. Of those, 98% were false.
Permitted sites are not charged for the first
five false alarms. Burglar alarms at locations without a permit
are not responded to, however, a citation is generated for failure
to have the required permit. This citation can result in a fine
of up to $500.
A police unit will always be sent to the location
of a hold-up (also known as a panic button) alarm regardless of
permit status, however, citations will be issued for lacking a
permit or for the inappropriate use of these type of alarms. Hold-up
buttons must only be used in an emergency. Their use for non-emergencies
constitutes a false alarm.
For additional information, please
contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200.