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Cambridge City Council

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Audible intruder, fire and car alarms

We receive a number of complaints each year regarding misfiring audible intruder, fire and car alarms.

While the main aim of an audible alarm is to protect property from intruders, theft and damage, a continually misfiring alarm can cause disturbance to neighbours and may even amount to a statutory noise nuisance.

If we determine the alarm to be causing a noise nuisance, we may have to:

  • serve an abatement notice on the occupier of the property
  • obtain a warrant from a magistrate to enter the property and disconnect the alarm to stop the nuisance
  • recover our costs from the person on whom the abatement notice was served

To avoid this action, you should:

  • make sure your alarm is serviced regularly, it should cut out within 20 minutes of sounding
  • appoint two keyholders for the property, preferably people who can attend within 20 minutes
  • tell your neighbours who your keyholders are
  • inform us of your keyholder details, as detailed below

Car alarms

Car alarms should be properly maintained. If a council officer witnesses a car alarm sounding that is likely to be a nuisance to residents in the area, a notice can be served on the owner.

  • If the owner can't be found within one hour, a contractor will be called to disconnect the alarm, but if that proves impossible the vehicle may be removed.
  • The cost of this work will be recovered from the car owner.

If your complaint is urgent or out of hours

If you have an urgent complaint about an audible alarm please call us on 01223 457900. Our customer service centre is open from 9am to 5.15pm, Monday to Friday. We close on public holidays.

There is an out-of-hours noise service that can be contacted between 7pm and 7am Thursday to Sunday and between 9am and 5pm at weekends.

Tell us your alarm keyholder information

Please contact us by email to tell us your keyholder information – contact us at residential.eh@cambridge.gov.uk for domestic premises or commercial@cambridge.gov.uk for commercial premises.

Make sure you include the following information:

  • the address where the alarm has been installed
  • the name of the resident if not yourself
  • the names and contact details of any keyholders.

It would also be helpful to know who installed the alarm for you.

Alternatively, you can download an Alarm Keyholders Form [RTF, 48Kb] and email the completed version to residential.eh@cambridge.gov.uk or commercial@cambridge.gov.uk.

Contact us

Commercial properties