Frequently Asked Questions
Why is an alarm ordinance needed?
Statistics show that the overwhelming majority of fire and burglar alarms that we respond to are the result of faulty and improperly maintained alarm systems. Not only do these false alarms tie up greatly needed resources, it puts the community in danger with vehicles responding with lights and sirens. The goal of this ordinance is to ensure that alarm owners are maintaining their systems properly therefore reducing or eliminating these false alarms.
What do I as a homeowner or business owner have to do?
Every homeowner or business that has any type of fire, burglar, or medical alarm that is monitored and notifies authorities of an activation, must register their system with the City of Gaffney.
How do I register?
There is a registration form, that will be made available online, that must be filled out and returned to the City of Gaffney. This can be done by returning the form to City Hall on N Limestone St, 2nd Floor.
By mailing the form to:
City of Gaffney
Attn: Alarm Registration
PO Box 2109
Gaffney, SC 29342
The form can also be emailed to email@example.com.
What if I already have an alarm that is not registered?
Homeowners and business owners with existing alarm systems must register their systems within 90 days of the adoption of the Ordinance (December 2, 2019).
What is the cost to register?
Registration of the system(s) is free.
What if I have a business with several different alarm systems?
Each alarm system for different buildings must be registered separately.
What are the fines for false alarms?
Each alarm system is allowed 3 false alarm activations within one calendar year. A false alarm is defined in summary as an alarm activation with no reasonable evidence of a legitimate problem. This means that if the alarm is activated due to burning food on a stove or a similar action, this is considered unintentional, not a false alarm. False alarms will be for systems that have malfunctions that are not addressed.
The fine for the 4th false alarm is $100 (plus court cost), the 5th occurrence is $300 (plus court cost), the 6th and subsequent offenses are $500 plus court cost. These fines are issued as a Municipal Court Summons, meaning you must appear in court unless you wish to pay the fine in full prior to the court date. The alarms are per system, meaning that locations with multiple buildings will only be fined when they reach 4 false alarms on the same system.
Weather related alarms with the exception of the same activation each time without proper intervention, will not be considered a false alarm.