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Cambridge City Council

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Audible intruder, smoke and fire alarms

We receive a number of complaints each year regarding misfiring audible intruder, smoke, and fire 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, which could run into hundreds of pounds

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

If your complaint is urgent or out of hours

If you have an urgent complaint about an audible alarm please call us on 01223 457890 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Thursday, 9am and 4.30pm on Friday.

Out of hours, we can be contacted on 0300 303 8389, between 7pm and 7am every night and between 9am and 5pm at weekends.

Tell us your alarm keyholder information

Please contact us by email at to tell us your keyholder information.

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 e-mail the completed version to

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Commercial properties