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Management Services Bureau - Divisions - False Alarm Reduction - Information for Businesses

Alarm System Installation Standards

(Reprinted from Executive Regulation 12-02AM)



Every alarm system installed after September 1, 1993 must be either U.L. Certificated or meet the below installation standards.

a)     All alarm system equipment must be U.L. listed, F.M., I.R.I. or equivalent equipment, used only for the purpose intended by the manufacturer and installed per manufacturers specification.

b)    Every alarm system must have standby power sufficient to operate the system in a non-alarm status (without being the cause of an alarm activation) for a minimum of four hours.

c)     Every alarm system must have a U.L. 1449 listed (or better) surge protector installed between the transformer and:

(i)    the 110 voltage source used to supply power to the master control panel; and

(ii)    any powered device connected to the system but powered separately.

Any alarm system that has a multi-phase power service and a dedicated transformer to that premises (building) only, does not require surge protection as described above.

d)    Every alarm system must be grounded under NBFAA (National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association), NEC (National Electrical Code), U.L. 681 or manufacturers’ standards.

e)     Any door or window contact installed for the purpose of activating the alarm system must be hermetically sealed if used on solid state control panels.

f)     Any wire splice must be “hot” soldered and taped, or “B” connected according to manufacturers’ specifications.  “B” connectors must not be crimped with other than a tool recommended by the manufacturer.

g)     Any residential alarm system with an audible alarm must have a sufficient number of sound generating devices to alert or awaken all normal hearing occupants within the alarm user’s premises that an alarm has been activated.

h)     Every alarm system using a digital communicator must have a proper phone interface device as required by FCC accessible to the alarm user and mounted within 24” of the control panel.

i)      Any audible alarm must automatically silence the annunciator within 30 minutes after activation.

j)      Any hold-up alarm (requiring push button activation) must use simultaneous 2 button activation or a keyed manual reset after activation.

k)    Any panic or medical/emergency alarm activation must cause an audible alarm.

l)      All audio detection devices must be either volumetric sound detectors with operator analysis or detectors that require two different inputs within one-half second (or less) to generate an alarm

m)    Every residential alarm system control panel must have either:

(i)    push on/pull off connectors to the battery and a description of the transformer location permanently affixed to the inside of the control panel; or

(ii)    an on/off switch that disconnects the battery and the transformer from the central processing unit inside the control panel.

n)     Transformers must be affixed to an electrical outlet.

o)    Every alarm system must have a supervised standby power supply that causes a local annunciation when standby power falls below the manufacturer’s recommended specifications.

p)    All alarm system wiring must meet NEC (National Electrical Code) standards and be a minimum of 22 gauge, or meet manufacturer’s specifications (whichever is the higher standard).  Wiring run through plenum ceilings or heat/return ducts must be plenum rated.

q)    Any alarm system that has a touchpad or other device designed to allow the user to activate the alarm (when in the disarm mode) must be configured as follows:

AUDIBLE                                                           SILENT

(a)  Panic                                                             (d)  Duress

(b)  Fire                                                               (e)  Hold-up

(c)  Medical/Emergency

r)     Any non-residential alarm system reporting to a monitoring center must identify the zone or sensor location of any activation within the system.  All non-residential alarm systems reporting by zones with multiple sensors must identify a room, suite number, or open area and the open area must not be larger than 2500 square feet.


Montgomery County Department of Police · J. Thomas Manger, Chief
Public Safety Headquarters
100 Edison Park Drive · Gaithersburg, MD 20878
Non-emergency: 301.279.8000
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