Alarm System Permits & False Alarm Billing


In 2007, the City of Sunnyvale adopted a residential and commercial Alarm Permitting Program for security alarm systems as an enhancement to the existing false alarm ordinance, This program is managed through the Special Operations Bureau, Strategic Services Division, Licensing and Permits Unit within the Department of Public Safety. Alarm Permits are helpful in further reducing false alarm responses by establishing owner accountability.

Through enhanced owner/occupant data collection, Public Safety staff is able to develop closer relationships with alarm users in order to facilitate educational efforts with regards to false alarm reduction.

Annual alarm permit fees for residential customers are $35 and fees for commercial customers are $70 (see Current Fee Schedule).


False alarms are a problem for everyone and can be costly. Alarms are valuable for protecting lives and property when properly designed, installed and maintained. When misused, they are a nuisance to everyone and can be a liability to the owner. The Department of Public Safety responds to thousands of alarms each year and 99.7% of these are false alarms. Each of these false alarms divert officers from other higher priority calls and emergencies.

The Sunnyvale City Council enacted an ordinance in 1995 in order to set forth the regulations governing the use of alarm systems and the administration of an alarm program within the City of Sunnyvale. This ordinance also allows fees to be charged for excessive false alarms. Since 1995, this ordinance has been amended to include a tiered billing structure for frequent false alarms. The intent of the original ordinance and the subsequent amendments was to reduce false alarm responses by Public Safety.

Contact Information

For more information on any of these topics call (408) 730-7117.


  • Secure all doors and windows before turning alarm on (a checklist for new or inexperienced alarm activators is helpful).
  • Make sure all alarm users are familiar with system operations.
  • Train new employees regarding alarm system procedures.
  • Be aware of changes in the environment (design changes, seasonal decorations, plants, etc.).
  • Equipment should be routinely inspected and maintained by qualified alarm personnel.
  • Work with your alarm company to periodically test the alarm system.
  • Notify your alarm company of any significant changes (new employees, termination of employees, etc.).
Frequently Asked Questions about Alarms

City of Sunnyvale

Normal City Hours of Operation are
8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

(408) 730-7500

  • Sunnyvale City Hall
  • 456 W. Olive Ave.
  • Sunnyvale, CA 94086
  • TDD (408) 730-7501
  • Map and Directions 
  • City of Sunnyvale Logo

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