Burglar Alarms - Key Holder Notification Scheme
Burglar alarms, also known as Audible Intruder Alarms, are a common means of enhancing the security of your property, but they can also be a source of annoyance to your neighbours when they misfire or are triggered accidentally and no-one is available to reset or disconnect the alarm.
The Code of Practice on Noise from Audible Intruder Alarms recommends that audible intruder alarms should be fitted with a 20-minute automatic cut-off. It also recommends that you should nominate two people to keep a set of your household keys and advise them of the alarm code so that they are able to re-set your alarm if you are not available to do so. The Council offers a key holder registration service – for more details see below.
What do I do if an alarm is going off?
- If you suspect a forced entry to the property contact the police immediately.
- Talk to neighbours to see if there are any key-holders and when the owners are expected to return
- If the alarm continues after 20 minutes then contact the Environmental Health team on (01495) 311556.
What action will the Council take if I am not available to re-set my alarm?
An officer will initially call at your property and try to make contact with you to determine if there is anyone available to silence the alarm.
If we are unable to contact you or, if upon contacting you we are satisfied that you are unable to silence the alarm within a reasonable time period, and that the noise amounts to a ‘Statutory Nuisance’, then a notice will be served upon you as the owner or occupier of the property giving you 30 minutes to silence the alarm.
If after the 30 minutes the alarm is still sounding then an officer will arrange for steps to be taken to silence the alarm system, which may include obtaining a warrant from a Magistrates’ Court for power to enter your property by force and silence the alarm.
The Council can seek to recover the costs of the work involved in silencing the alarm from you.
What is the Key-holder Registration Scheme?
At Blaenau Gwent we now offer a key-holder registration service. Registration is free and simple and enables you to nominate two individuals who are key-holders to your property who can be contacted in the event of your intruder alarm sounding.
This will help us to silence the alarm without incurring any costs that you would then have to repay.
You must ensure that you have asked the permission of the nominated individuals and that they have signed the relevant sections of the registration form confirming that they give permission for us to contact them.
All details will be stored securely and used solely in the event of a problem with your alarm system.
Helpful hints to prevent your alarm system causing nuisance to other residents:
- Your system should be properly designed, installed and maintained to prevent false alarms. British Standard BS 4737 sets out the specification and procedure for installation and maintenance of alarm systems. Make sure the company responsible for your alarm operates to these standards.
- Get your alarm system regularly maintained. Your insurance company may insist on this too.
- Your system should be fitted with an automatic cut-off device to stop the alarm ringing after about 20 minutes. Most modern alarms have this, plus a flashing light that keeps going after the ringing has been cut off. You must tell your insurers if you have an automatic cut-off device.
- If you do not have a cut-off device fitted, you are expected to have nominated key holders who can silence the alarm within 20 minutes of being notified.