Permit for security system?

Davenport

Member
Jan 28, 2024
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Hello, I'm hoping you guys can help me out. I'm a developer in Jefferson County, Alabama. I have the permits that I need to build a single-family home for a buddy of mine. What I need to know is whether I need to get a low voltage permit before installing his security system. I normally design and develop commercial properties in the area, so this is out of my wheelhouse. I would need the permit in a commercial setting, but I'm not sure whether it's required for residential. I called the county commissioner's office to check, and the office workers weren't sure, so I'm hoping you guys might know more about it. I'd like to avoid applying for the permit if possible, since I'm working with a tight budget.
 
Location
Jefferson County, Alabama, United States

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I'm by no means knowledgeable in regards to this, so I would still check with your local permitting office just in case. I did a little bit of research, and I believe you do need to obtain a permit for any low voltage work you plan to do. The info I found, mentions it being required for the likes of telephones, fire and security systems, closed-circuit and cable television. It would be my best guess that it would require a permit though.

This is what I was able to find:
When Permit is Required
Residential Constructions
Single Family Construction Process
 
Thanks for sharing those resources, @Winny. I agree, a permit is almost certainly required here.

I think some contractors are dismissive of permitting/inspections for low voltage systems because the voltage these systems use (e.g., 30V for a security system) makes them think there's zero hazard and therefore zero need for a permit. However, even if there's not much of an electrical hazard, there are still code requirements associated with running all the wiring that's involved. For example, inspectors may check to make sure all the wiring is properly supported and not running along ceiling grid/other systems.
 
I agree with the others, you're going to need that permit. The rule reads as though you have to be a licensed Low Voltage contractor who is registered with ePermitJC to apply for it, which could've been what led to the confusion when you called about it. However, if you're hesitant to dish out for another permit, you could opt for one that doesn't require electricity, such as the Phillips personal security window and door alarm system. It isn't fancy, and it isn't monitored, but it will sound an alarm if someone opens the doors or windows while it's activated. It has pretty good reviews.
 
I believe you do need to obtain a permit for any low voltage work you plan to do. The info I found, mentions it being required for the likes of telephones, fire and security systems, closed-circuit and cable television. It would be my best guess that it would require a permit though.
Yeah, that's what I was afraid of. Thank you for sharing those resources. I've looked them over, and I think you're right. I'll head down there on Monday to sort it out. Thanks for the help. I keep telling my buddy that building projects are never as simple as the homeowner hopes they'll be.
 
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