Alarms

Alarm systems in the City of Oregon City that elicit police response require a permit from the Oregon City Police Department per City Ordinance No. 01-1017. Links to the Alarm Ordinance and current Alarm Fee schedule are located at the bottom of this page.

To obtain an alarm permit, citizens must complete the Alarm User Permit Application (click on link at bottom of this page), print out application and return it to the Police Department along with a check for the first year’s permit. The annual fee is $20 for home and $25 for business. A residential alarm user age 65 or over, with no home based business at the residence, may obtain an alarm permit without paying the permit fee. The Police Department address is printed at the top of the application.

The purpose of the alarm ordinance is to discourage false alarms and allow officers to spend more time providing public safety services. As of December 31, 2015 the City had 1,348 valid permits on file (a decrease of 32 from 1,380 at the end of 2014). Police Department Officers were dispatched to 877 alarm calls of which:

  • 573 were considered false alarms (127 residential and 446 businesses)
  • 266 were canceled prior to officer arrival at the premise
  • 19 were legitimate alarms (1 homes, 18 businesses) – actual attempted break-ins
  • 19 were car alarms or other non chargeable alarms

Approximately 65% of all 2015 dispatched alarm calls were considered false (no change from 2014). The number of 2015 dispatched calls that were canceled prior to an officer arrival on scene was 30%, which reflects a slight decrease in cancellations from 31% in 2014.

Many false alarms consist of events created by any/all of the following circumstances:

  • user error
  • loose pets
  • equipment malfunction
  • low battery signals
  • unsecured doors/windows
  • loose fitting doors/windows
  • delay time is not adequately set to allow you time to enter/leave your premise
  • individuals who have access to an alarm location that do not know how to use the alarm
  • environment: moving furniture, remodeling, air conditioners, balloons, banners, curtains, dust

Fines and penalties are assessed beginning with the second false alarm response and increase with each subsequent false alarm dispatched per location.

If you have any questions about business or residential alarms, please contact the Records Unit at (503) 496-1600 or by e-mail at ocrecords@orcity.org. Hours are Monday thru Friday, from 08:00 am to 05:00 pm.

A nationwide organization "FARA" (False Alarm Reduction Association) was created to help with reducing false alarms for the consumer, alarm companies and law enforcement. FARA's website provides additional consumer tips and information for helping the alarm user from creating false alarm issues for their local police department. Please check out the website by clicking on the link located at the bottom of this page.