In many locations, you're required to register with the local law enforcement agency when you install a monitored home security system
. This type of regulation is usually put into place when local authorities have to field a large number of what turn out to be false alarms. Here are five tips for getting everything registered and squared away when you have a home security system installed and activated.
1. Talk with Your Home Security Company or Installation Professional
Your installer should provide you with all the documentation that goes along with your particular home security system model. Ask your installer about procedures for registering the system -- both with the home security monitoring center and with your local authorities. Installers who work in your particular city or county
should be knowledgeable about your obligations as far as registering with law enforcement.
2. Gather Your Information
Write down or print out information from your home security provider and information about yourself, including the following:
•Contact information for the home security company
•Type of alarm system installed
•Features of the alarm system (door and window sensors, motion detectors, etc.)
•Your name, address, and phone number
•Names of all authorized users of the alarm system
•Names of emergency contacts in the event of an alarm while you're away
3. Contact Your Local Police Department or Sheriff's Office
Explain that you have had a home security system installed and want to register it. They should direct your call to the proper point of contact. Find out exactly what you have to do, whether there is a fee, and when you can register your system and pay fees. Offices handling this procedure may only be open on certain days or during certain hours. Find out if you can register your system through the authority's website. When you call, have the information you wrote down handy in case you can register your device over the phone.
4. Register Your System with Local Authorities and the Home Security Company
Go through all registration steps -- both for the home security manufacturer and your local authorities -- and pay any fees you're assessed. Ask if your receipt qualifies as proof of registration of your system, and if not, ask for documentation showing that you registered your home security system. Find out your community's policy on false alarms. Some communities allow one false alarm per year without charge, but assess fines for any further false alarms, while other communities will charge a fine for the first and any subsequent false alarms.
5. Confirm Registration With Law Enforcement and the Home Security Company
After going through the registration procedure, it's a good idea to contact your alarm manufacturer and your local law enforcement authority to confirm that your system has been officially registered. Sometimes paperwork gets lost, and you don't want your alarm to be triggered only to have law enforcement clueless about the existence of your system.
After registering your system with the provider and law enforcement, it's a good idea to call your homeowner's insurance company. You may be eligible for a discount on your homeowner's insurance premiums after installing a monitored home security system.