As a resident of Sydney – home to over 5 million people – it’s crucial to ensure the safety and security of your home and community. An alarm system is an effective security measure that alerts you of potential intruders and deters criminal activity. However, having an alarm system also comes with responsibilities, as there are laws and regulations in place to ensure the proper and legal use of these systems.
If you are considering installing an alarm system in your home or business, you must understand the laws and regulations that govern their use. In this blog post, we will discuss the alarm system registration process, the penalties for false alarms and privacy considerations surrounding alarm systems in Sydney.
Read more: Why You Need an Alarm System
Alarm System Registration Information
In Sydney, alarm systems, whether professionally installed or DIY, must be registered with the New South Wales Police Force. Registration can be completed online, and the registration fee is valid for one year. This fee goes towards maintaining the alarm system database and ensuring efficient responses in the event of an emergency.
Registering your alarm system also helps the police determine the number of false alarms in your area, enabling them to allocate resources more effectively. Failure to register your alarm system may result in penalties, so it is essential to comply with this requirement.
False Alarm Penalties
False alarms can be triggered by a variety of reasons, such as malfunctioning equipment, accidental activation or even user error. However, these false alarms can cause significant disruptions and increase the workload for emergency responders. To discourage false alarms, the New South Wales Police Force has implemented penalties for repeat offenders.
The first false alarm in a 12-month period is excused, but subsequent false alarms will incur penalties, starting at $114 for the second false alarm and increasing with each additional offence. Therefore, it is crucial to educate yourself on how to avoid false alarms and ensure your alarm system is functioning correctly.
Privacy Concerns Regarding Alarm Systems
While alarm systems can provide a sense of security, they also raise concerns about privacy. In Australia, there are different laws and regulations for residential and commercial alarm systems. For residential alarm systems, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) website specifies that the Privacy Act does not cover security cameras used in a private capacity.
In New South Wales, the Surveillance Devices Act 2007 allows for the installation of security cameras as long as the owner of the property agrees. Consent from neighbours may also be required if the cameras are pointed towards their property. Additionally, the act requires explicit consent for audio recording, regardless of whether the person is part of the conversation or not.
It is also advisable to check with your local council or strata if you live in a strata-controlled property in case there are by-laws dealing with privacy.
If you’re considering installing an alarm system, it is essential to understand the laws and regulations. At CGF Security & Electrical, we are dedicated to providing our customers in Sydney with high-quality alarm systems that comply with all laws and regulations. We can assist you with the registration process and provide guidance to ensure your alarm system is functioning correctly, minimising false alarms. Contact us today for your alarm system needs and help keep your home and community safe.