Frequently Asked Questions
I have never had to pay an annual alarm permit fee before, why am I required to do so now?
As part of the Alarm Ordinance change made in August 2010, all alarm system users are required to pay an annual $25.00 permit fee to register their alarm system with the City. If an alarm user remains false alarm free during their 12-month permit year, the $25.00 permit fee will be waived for the following permit year.
Is there a penalty for not paying the annual permit fee?
If the annual $25.00 permit fee has not been paid and an alarm system user has a false alarm, there will be a $150.00 civil penalty assessed in addition to the false alarm fee. This civil penalty will be assessed for each false alarm that is accrued while the permit fee is past due.
I no longer have an alarm system. Why am I receiving these bills and letters?
The City needs to be notified when an alarm system is disconnected and no longer monitored by an alarm company. If the City is not notified by the alarm user or the alarm company that the account has been cancelled, we will continue to correspond with you regarding your alarm system until such time the notification has been made. There are two ways to notify the City that you no longer have an active alarm system: call the Alarm Administrator Monday through Friday 8 am to 5 pm, or write on your letter or invoice that you no longer have an alarm system, sign, and date the letter, and mail it to the below address:
Wichita Alarm Program
P.O. Box 1162
Wichita, KS 67201
I only have one alarm system, but I have received duplicate invoices with different account numbers on them. Why would this happen?
The account number on the invoice is your permit number. Each permit number is unique to the alarm users address, name, and alarm company. A new permit number will be issued to alarm users who move to a new business location or residence, or change alarm companies. If you move from one location to another, or change alarm companies, please notify the City so that your previous account can be closed.
The police did not respond, why was I fined for a false alarm?
The charge is not based on a police response. When your alarm company calls the Emergency Communications Center (911) you are fined for a false alarm unless it is cancelled within four minutes.
My alarm malfunctioned, why was I fined for a false alarm?
A false alarm caused by a malfunctioning alarm system is still a false alarm and you will be fined.
There was no one at home when my alarm went off, why was I fined for a false alarm?
Alarms frequently go off when there is no one at home (especially motion detectors,) but you are still responsible for your alarm.
My alarm company told me they did not call the police, why was I fined for a false alarm?
If the alarm company did not contact the Emergency Communications Center (911) you would not have received a false alarm fine. The City receives false alarm information from the Emergency Communication Center.
How much do false alarms cost the City?
Over 98% of all alarm calls are false. This diverts police and fire resources from actual calls and costs the City an estimated $3 million annually.
How much does it cost to administer the false alarm ordinance?
It costs the City an estimated $335,000 annually to administer the false alarm ordinance. This includes staff time and contractual costs for a computer systems vender.
How much does the registration fee generate?
The false alarm registration fee implemented in the fall 2010 is expected to generate around $328,000 annually, allowing the City to mostly offset costs to administer the ordinance.
Are alarm fees common in other cities?
Yes. False alarms are a significant cost for many cities across the country. Most cities impose a comparable alarm registration fee and/or false alarm fee.
How do I pay my bill?
Checks and money orders for false alarm payments must be mailed to:
Wichita Alarm Program
P.O. Box 1162
Wichita, KS 67201
Credit card payments may also be made by alarm users on our secure website at https://www.crywolf.us/oss/wichitaks. You will need your user ID and password to log in to the website. If you do not have your log in information, please call 877-888-1355 for assistance.
How do I file an appeal?
Should a disagreement arise over whether any particular response fee or administrative penalty should be assessed, the facts surrounding the circumstances of the alarm activation shall within thirty (30) days of the date of the first invoice for the alarm, be presented in writing by the Alarm User or alarm business along with a ten dollar ($10.00) administrative fee to the Alarm Administrator. When determining whether or not to appeal, the alarm user should review the items listed in number (3a) through (3e) above and the City Ordinance definition of a False Alarm listed below. When an appeal is received, the appeal reasons are compared to those items to determine whether or not the response fee should be charged. In the event of determination that no response fee should be assessed, the ten dollar ($10.00) administrative fee shall be refunded. Appeals should be sent to the Alarm Administrator, City of Wichita Police Department, 455 N. Main - 4th Floor, Wichita KS 67202-1600. Please see the complete false alarm ordinance for procedures and consideration given to appeals.
Where do I mail my Alarm Business Application/Renewal?
City of Wichita, Licensing Department, 455 N Main St., 1st Floor, Wichita, KS. 67202.
How do I register my customers?
Submit your client list on the attached Excel document via email to the Wichita False Alarm Program at firstname.lastname@example.org The permit numbers will be returned to you with an invoice for the amount due. Also included is an instruction sheet for completing the Excel document. Permits are $25 each. The turn-around time from submitting your Excel document to the False Alarm Reduction Program and receiving the permit numbers is approximately 24 hours, excluding weekends and holidays.
For more information regarding false alarms please call 877-888-1355, Monday through Friday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. For more information regarding City of Wichita business licensing for alarm companies, please call the Licensing Department at 316-268-4553.