Alarm call for noisy sirens

BURGLAR alarms in Felixstowe could be silenced – if they keep going off as false alarms.Environmental health chiefs say the alarms blaring during the night are annoying neighbours and action could be taken to have them switched off - defeating the object of having the security measures installed.

BURGLAR alarms in Felixstowe could be silenced – if they keep going off as false alarms.

Environmental health chiefs say the alarms blaring during the night are annoying neighbours and action could be taken to have them switched off - defeating the object of having the security measures installed.

Suffolk Coastal District Council says the alarms, which more and more homes now have, often at the insistence of insurance companies, can be altered to ensure that if they do go off mistakenly they stop sounding after a period of time.

It wants owners with intruder alarm systems to sign up to a register which could prevent them causing night-time disturbance to other residents and put an end to the many complaints received by the council and police.


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"Intruder alarms have become increasingly popular and if anyone does hear one that has been set off they really should contact the police so they can check if a crime is in process," said Chris Slemmings, cabinet member for the environment.

"Unfortunately, there are also many false alarms when the systems can keep blaring out their warning which can be a particular nuisance to others, particularly during the summer when people sleep with their windows open.

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"We are calling on people with alarms to make sure they have a cut-off system that will shut off the warning after 20 minutes.

"Most modern systems already have one, but older versions can have a cut-out device installed. We would also ask people to give us and the police the details of a keyholder who can go in and reset the alarm system."

If the council cannot contact a keyholder, then it has to take formal action to tackle the alarm if it has received complaints from neighbours.

An Abatement Notice requiring the alarm to be silenced will be issued, and an electrical engineer called out to carry out the necessary works.

The occupier would be responsible for reimbursing the council for all costs reasonably incurred in dealing with the problem.

"I would ask all those with alarm systems to register their keyholder details with us, particularly if they are going off on holiday or are likely to be away from their home for a few weeks," added Mr Slemmings.

"Making sure that there is someone who can reset their alarm means that they will remain on good terms with their neighbours, still have a fully functioning system to keep their home safe and secure, and not be faced with an unwanted bill on their return home."

Keyholder forms are available from Suffolk Coastal on 01394 444306 or can be downloaded from the council's website at www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk.

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