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Do You Need a Permit for a Home Security System?

do you need a permit for a home security system
black business woman looking puzzled, confused and stressed, wondering between different options, feeling uncertain against orange wall

A home security system is a serious investment that acts to protect your loved ones and your belongings in the event of an emergency. Yet, if you don’t sign up with the proper authorities and get the right paperwork sorted out before installation, an unregistered alarm system could end up costing you hundreds –– if not thousands of dollars in fees and fines. So, to put the question to bed once and for all: do you need a permit for a home security system? The answer is a definite yes!

Why Do Home Security Systems Require Permits?

It’s your home –– why should you have to get a permit for a security system on your own property? It’s a good question, but one with a reasonable answer. The reality is that alarm systems affect local police and fire departments. Older systems in particular were guilty of triggering a huge number of false alarms. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) fire departments in the U.S. respond to 2.2 false alarms every year –– 32% of them occurring as a result of home alarm system malfunctions. Not only do faulty, unregistered alarms cost police departments and fire departments lots of money, but they also take essential services away from genuine emergencies. That’s why most municipalities require alarm system registration. 

Getting Registered

The good news for Texans is that it’s easy to register your security system. All you have to do is to get in touch with your local city or county government. Alarm permits require: 

  • Personal information and address.
  • Type of alarm installed.
  • Company that monitors the system.
  • Emergency contact info (usually two phone numbers).

Registration also comes with a small fee. In Bexar County (San Antonio), residential alarms cost $40 to register, while commercial alarms cost $100. 

Avoiding Legal Penalties

If you don’t choose to get a permit for your security system, but the police or fire department responds to a false alarm at your home, you could be charged between $200-$500 per every occurence. Even if you are registered, though, police or fire departments may charge you for an excessive number of false alarms. To use San Antonio as an example again, the city will charge residents $50 after three false alarms. Penalties increase with each subsequent false alarm. (Each municipality has different fees and registration requirements, so visit your local city or county’s website for more info.) At the end of the day, it’s crucial to team up with a professional home security organization that will install your system properly and ensure it works perfectly right from the beginning. 

One silver lining: police departments and fire departments will continue to respond to alarm calls even if the alarm is unregistered or has sent in false calls in the past. You won’t get punished for your alarm crying wolf, but you could end up paying a hefty fee. 


At Alamo, we have years of experience working with Texans just like you. So we’ll help you through every step of the home security installation process and guarantee that your system is operating smoothly. Plus, we’ll answer any questions you may have. Contact us here to get started today.