False alarms are dangerous in that they pull fire prevention and safety resources away from other possible emergencies. Vermont State Police will stop responding to alarms after the third false alarm.
Security alarm industry associations offer the following tips to prevent false alarms:
Ensure everyone with authorized access to the property has the correct disarm code
Train authorized users how to use the alarm system
Close all doors and windows before you turn on the alarm
If you need to re-enter the property after arming the system, always disarm the system and start the arming process over again
Check to make sure the system is working properly, with all batteries charged and equipment properly connected
Remove objects near motion detectors that may move, and keep the area of the motion sensor clean of materials (spider webs, helium balloons) that could potentially trigger unintended alarms
The Vermont State Police (VSP) responds to both residential and commercial security alarms within its coverage area. You must register your alarm and pay an annual fee of $50.
After registering and paying the fee, your alarm will receive a specific ID number and be entered into the state police software program.
VSP gives a warning for the first false alarm, but then charges $50 for the second offense and $75 for the third. After the third false alarm, the VSP will place the alarm in non-response mode. There is a comprehensive reinstatement procedure that must be followed to return the alarm to regular response status.
If you live in a town that is not within VSP’s primary coverage area, you should still register your alarm but do not need to pay the fee.
VSP will respond to all verified emergencies — regardless whether or not an alarm is registered.
When it comes to fire alarm standards, Vermont follows these nationally recognized codes for installation, maintenance and inspection:
NFPA 70 National Electrical Code — Addresses the installation of electrical equipment in buildings to protect occupants and prevent hazards.
NFPA 72 National Fire Alarm Code — Addresses the proper installation, inspection, testing and maintenance of fire alarm systems, among other topics.
NFPA 720 Standard for the Installation of Carbon Monoxide Warning Equipment in Dwelling Units— Addresses the proper installation, inspection, testing and maintenance of carbon monoxide (CO) detectors.
NFPA 101 Life Safety Code — Addresses fire protection, sprinkler systems, alarms and hazard prevention.
All Vermont fire alarm inspectors are required to receive a Certification of Fitness (TQP). Inspectors must be either a Master Electrician, Journeyman Electrician or G7(c) Type S Journeyman Electrician