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Alarm Permits

Installing a home or business security-alarm system may certainly bring a property owner peace of mind. However, along with the maintenance of a private security alarm system arises an additional owner-responsibility to ensure that police respond when the alarm is triggered.

First, to ensure police response to your property, you need to secure an alarm permit. You may complete the application below and deliver it to the Business License Center with the applicable fee, which will be processed within minutes. Or, you can mail the application with the application fee and it will be processed within five days. The Business License Center is located at City Hall, 175 E. 2nd St., Tulsa, Ok, 74103. The Center is on the street level entry at the northwest corner of East 2nd Street and South Cincinnati Avenue. See the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below for more information.

Permitted alarms receive a primary response status when dispatched. Police will immediately respond to a call on a system that has a permit. If there is no permit, the private alarm company may verify that a crime is either underway or has been committed and requires police response. Police will respond once the alarm company notifies 911 Dispatch of verification.

If an alarm is triggered and you don’t have a permit or the alarm is not verified, then you will not receive a police response.

911 calls from citizens witnessing a break-in or burglary are priority calls. Citizens who see evidence of a crime should immediately call Tulsa 911 to report it. 911 calls receive a higher priority than alarm calls. Alarm monitoring centers must use an alarm call number and the call-taker must verify a valid certificate at the address before sending police to the scene.

Title 21, Chapter 21 - Intrusion Alarm Certification

When combined with lower staffing levels in the Tulsa Police Department due to revenue constraints, false alarms do interfere with police timely response to actual crimes.

More than 95 percent of all security alarms are false alarms. 911 took over 14,000 calls from alarm monitoring services for alarm activations during the year of 2016 and less than five percent were real intrusions. Also, other factors triggered the alarm. As a result, police often respond to false alarms when they could be taking higher priority calls for emergencies and crimes likely to result in personal injury or property damage.

No one is required to register a security alarm with the City. However, those who choose to register receive distinct benefits from that decision.

Options Regarding Registration
You can choose to register your alarm with the City. If you register, the police will respond to your alarm based solely on a call from your alarm monitoring company. This service is known as “unverified response” because the police come to your home or business based on the activation of an electronic device, not based on information provided by a real person who is present at your alarm site to verify that there is a real need for an officer.

You can choose not to register your alarm with the City. If you make this choice, someone other than the police – such as a private security company – must be on-site to verify a possible crime has occurred before the police will respond as a secondary response. A call from your alarm company with no on-site verification will not be sufficient to generate an immediate police response.

If you don't register your alarm and wish unverified response to alarm activations, it is your responsibility to make arrangements for that service with a private provider.

Please Be Aware: If you choose not to register your alarm system, the police will not respond to your alarm unless a person actually witnesses the cause for the alarm activation (for example, if someone is seen trying to enter your home or business) and contacts the police by calling 911 with that information.

Choose one of the following ways to register for an alarm:

  1. Download an application for an alarm certificate  (Word) (PDF) OR
  2. Call the City of Tulsa License Center at (918) 596-7640 to request an application by mail or email. Simply fill out the application for a First Response Certificate and mail it to the City of Tulsa License Center with the appropriate fee OR
  3. Bring an application to the Business License Center for processing within five minutes.

The Business License Center is located at City Hall, 175 E. 2nd Street, Tulsa, OK 74103 on the street level entry at the northwest corner of 2nd Street and Cincinnati Avenue.

  • Residential Certificates are $35
  • Commercial/Business Certificates are $75

When your registered alarm system activates, your alarm monitoring company attempts to verify the alarm and calls the Tulsa 911 emergency dispatch center requesting a police response to your home or business. If the officer finds either a crime in progress or evidence that a crime was attempted, your security alarm did exactly what it was supposed to do. Responding to real crimes serves the interests of everyone in the community and is a part of the basic police services your taxes provide.

When an officer is dispatched to your home or business and finds no evidence of a crime or attempted crime, a false alarm response will be recorded to the alarm user. Only false alarms caused by earthquakes, tornadoes and other unusually violent acts of nature are exempt from fees*. Any residential or commercial alarm user who accumulates two or more false alarm dispatches at one alarm site within their certificate year will receive a cancellation on their alarm certificate. There is an appeal process if you feel a false alarm error occurred and you received a charge for it. Upon cancellation of a certificate, the alarm user may apply for a new First Response Alarm certificate.

Any false alarm is one too many, but, even for conscientious users, they sometimes occur. However, virtually all false alarms are avoidable. The City of Tulsa expects you to keep your alarm system well maintained and operate it with care and diligence. You may have one false alarm response in any certificate year. If you have a second false alarm in a one-year period, you will be notified by mail, that the City of Tulsa will cancel your alarm certificate 10 days from the date of your letter.

Yes, the permit is valid for one year from the date it is registered. A complimentary reminder will be mailed approximately one month prior to the expiration date of your permit.

For information about the City’s security alarm program, please contact:

City of Tulsa Business License Center
Registration for Security Alarms
Finance Department
(918) 596-7640