Appeal for the sound of silence

DON'T let your burglar alarm upset people unnecessarily this Christmas.That's the message from Suffolk Coastal's environmental health team, which along with the police, receives many complaints about alarms that sound for long periods when there is no evidence of a break-in.

DON'T let your burglar alarm upset people unnecessarily this Christmas.

That's the message from Suffolk Coastal's environmental health team, which along with the police, receives many complaints about alarms that sound for long periods when there is no evidence of a break-in.

The council is asking residents who may be going away to consider their neighbours and make sure that intruder alarms are fitted with a cut-off device or someone close by is a keyholder and knows how to re-set them.

"If anyone does hear an intruder alarm that has been set off they should contact the police in case a crime is in progress. Unfortunately, there are also many false alarms which can be a particular nuisance to others," said Andrew Nunn, cabinet member for the environment.


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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 the details of a keyholder who can go in and reset the alarm system."

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If the Council cannot contact a keyholder, 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 council would then seek payment from the householder for all reasonable costs.

"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," said Mr Nunn.

"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."

Anyone wanting more information should ring 01394 444306. More details are also available on the council's website – www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk – where there is also a downloadable form to fill in. All details will be kept confidential.

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