Wealden District Council

Noise from alarms

Noise from burglar alarms that go off accidentally or have a fault that causes them to sound can cause a serious disturbance to those that live in neighbouring properties.

To help prevent disturbances from alarms, anyone responsible for premises where an intruder alarm is installed should nominate a key holder and notify the local authority. The keyholder should live nearby, be able to gain access and know how to silence the alarm if it goes off accidentally. House alarms should only sound for 20 minutes and if they sound for longer they only attract burglars.

If you are troubled by an alarm please telephone Sussex Police on 101 and they will attempt to notify a keyholder. If a keyholder has not been registered, please telephone us on 01424 787550.

To register your own alarm keyholder details visit the Peace for a Pound (external link) and submit your details online. Peace for a Pound delivers this service on behalf of Sussex Police.

Car alarms

The sound of car alarms can be very annoying and some alarms appear to be over sensitive. The noise which is meant to be a deterrent can become increasingly ineffective if it misfires or does not have an effective cut off period. In fact a misfiring alarm can cause serious annoyance and there have been circumstances where those living in the vicinity have threatened to take their own action to silence the alarm directly.

If you are going away on holiday and leaving a car unattended for a longer period it is worth making sure that someone who lives in the vicinity of your car has your keys so that they can deal with the alarm if it does start sounding.

The Road Vehicle (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 requires that a five minute cut-off device is fitted to all vehicle alarms. The police and Vehicle and Operator Service Agency (VOSA) enforce this legislation.

If you are bothered by the sound of a misfiring car alarm then you can report it to us. You will be asked to provide the following information:

  • Vehicle make, model and colour
  • Registration number
  • Length of time that the alarm has been sounding (longer than five minutes)
  • Whether the car has been vandalised or forcibly entered and if so, whether the police have been notified and allowed to deal with the attempted theft.

As this type of noise is potentially very intrusive and is likely to be a Statutory Nuisance, we will investigate and we do have powers to take formal action and arrange for a contractor to silence alarms. In serious cases where an alarm cannot be silenced or where a vehicle cannot be secured we can also have the vehicle removed to a secure location. The costs of undertaking this action will be recharged to the owner of the vehicle.

Contact Rother and Wealden Environmental Health Service