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The problem with alarms


Alarm CartoonOver recent years we’ve received lots of complaints about the noise caused by burglar alarms, especially those that go off at night when their owners are away. This leaflet provides simple advice on making sure that your alarm doesn’t cause a problem to your neighbours or, if you are having problems with a neighbour’s alarm, what you can do about it.


What you should do if you own an alarm


To make sure you don’t have a problem with your alarm, you should:


  • Make sure that the alarm is regularly maintained. If a sensor is behaving erratically, get an engineer in to sort it out.
  • Make sure that the alarm has a cut out device included and set it to a maximum of 20 minutes. You also need to make sure that the alarm will not go off again unless a different sensor is set off.
  • If you’re going to be away from your home overnight or for any longer period, make sure you give a key to someone you know with instructions on how to disable the house alarm.
  • The key-holder should really be someone who can get to your house within an hour - but ideally no more than 20 minutes.
  • Before you go away, give their details to your neighbours so if it does go off, they can call them.


If you’re affected by a nuisance alarm


Always try to speak to the householder and make them aware of the problem first. They may be unaware of the problems it’s causing if they’re away from the house. If you can’t contact them or the situation doesn’t improve you can contact us.


How do I make a complaint?


If the alarm is still going off please call us as soon as possible so we can deal with the problem straight away. Our contact details are on the back of this leaflet.If the occupiers are away, and we can’t contact someone with a key, we will make sure the alarm is disabled within the working day.


New powers for councils


New laws mean that we have the power to take action when:


  • Burglar Alarm LeafletThe alarm has been sounding continuously for more than 20 minutes or intermittently for more than an hour
  • The noise is likely to give people living or working nearby reasonable cause for annoyance;


We have the power to enter premises to disable the alarm. In most cases we will only need to disconnect the wiring to the external alarm box. If we need to physically enter the building, we need to obtain a warrant.


In most cases we will recover the costs of disabling the alarm from the occupier.


We have produced a handy leaflet which includes the information on this page as well as our contact details, just click on the image (right) and it will open in a new window.

How to Access this Service


To report a noisy neighbour please complete our online reporting form.


If you have any specific concerns regarding noise pollution in South Staffordshire, please contact a member of staff using the following details:

Environmental Protection Services
South Staffordshire Council
Council Offices
Wolverhampton Road
South Staffordshire
To contact a member of staff by telephone or email, please see the details below. You can also make a general complaint regarding noise through the Pollution Complaint Form online.

Service Standards

We have adopted a set of standards for the provision of this service. You can find out more about these service standards by following the link below.




Report a Noisy Neighbour

Pollution Complaint Form


Document Link: Burglar Alarm Leaflet


Service Standards



There are no associated costs for requesting information or making a complaint regarding noise pollution.


Main Contact

Environmental Protection - noise

General Enquiries
Telephone: (01902) 696000
Fax: (01902) 696222
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