Security and fire alarms

Keeping your home safe is important. It’s your right to be able to install a security or fire alarm on your premises, but you then assume responsibility for that alarm. When your alarm goes off accidentally, it costs the municipality time and money to respond.

By-law B-400 Respecting Burglary, Robbery, and Fire Alarm Systems [PDF] stipulates that all alarms must be registered with the municipality and outlines a penalty and fee structure for repeated false alarms on your property.

Fees for false alarms

**Please note  - fee changes as of August 1, 2017**

The first time you have a false alarm with your security system in a 12-month consecutive period, there is no fee. After this, fees are incurred as follows:

  •  second instance: $200
  •  third instance: $300
  •  each subsequent occurrence: $500

Appealing a false alarm fee

Should a false alarm occur that can be demonstrated to be beyond your control, then the fine could be dropped through an appeal process.  Alarms triggered in any of the following manners are not considered false alarms and are therefore not subject to fines under By-law B-400 [PDF]:

  • Any alarm which the owner can demonstrate was caused by the action of people not associated with the owner or alarm system. Basically, neither you, the alarm company, nor anyone who works for you or the alarm company can set off the alarm. If any of the following people triggered the alarm, it will be considered a false alarm and you could face fines: 
    • The property owner, officers of the owner, agents, employees, independent contractors, or any other persons subject to the direct or indirect control of the owner
    • The person who installed, connected, operated, maintained, or serviced the alarm system
    • The manufacturer of the alarm system, including the manufacturer’s officers, agents, employees, independent contractors or any person subject to the direct or indirect control of the manufacturer
  • Where the owner can demonstrate that the alarm was caused by a storm, lightning, earthquake, or other violent act of nature
  • Where the municipality’s Alarm Coordinator is satisfied that the occurrence is isolated and due to a mechanical or electrical failure that has since been corrected by a qualified contractor or installer, proof of which has been provided

To appeal a false alarm infraction, complete the False Alarm By-law B-400 Appeal form [PDF] and send it, along with support documents:

By mail:

Halifax Regional Municipality
Alarm Coordinator
PO Box 1749
Halifax, NS
B3J 3A5

By fax: 902.490.4005

Register your alarm system

The alarm By-law also requires everyone to register their alarm system. There is no charge for this service.

An alarm system is defined in the By-law as "any mechanical or electrical device which is designed or used for the detection of heat, smoke or fire or an unauthorized entry into a building, structure or facility or for alerting others of the commission of an unlawful act, or both, and which emits a sound or transmits a signal or message when activated,"  but does not include personal alerting devices or a device that is installed in a vehicle.