An alarm that was triggered at a house in St. John's prompted the security company to alert the authorities – in another province.

On Feb. 14, something triggered the alarm at Patrick MacDonald's house. The alarm company called the police, but they never showed.

When the homeowner called the company to see what happened, he received some alarming information.

"They said, 'Yes the police were called, but they don't go to there.'"

"That's when I said, 'Well, what do you mean, they don't go? That's what they're supposed to do, if there's a security alarm,'" MacDonald said.

He then asked why the police wouldn't go to his house.

"I said, 'Where did you call them?' And they said, 'Saint John.' I said, 'Saint John, New Brunswick.' And they're like, 'Yes.'

"So I was like, 'Do you realize I live in St. John's, Newfoundland?' And that's when they realized."

Dispatch in Saint John answered the call.

Isolated incident?

The security company, Reliance Protectron, formerly Vox-Com, said this incident appears to be an isolated case.

They said whoever signed MacDonald up for the service five years ago mistook St. John's for Saint John.

The emergency dispatch centre in New Brunswick said this type of mix-up isn't uncommon, and they do get calls like this from time to time.

The company has offered MacDonald one month free of charge for the mistake. But he's now planning to change security companies.

"You expect, if your alarm goes off, that someone's going to be there," he said.

Reliance Protectron said this should never have happened.

The company plans to get in touch with the homeowner, and to do a thorough review of all of its customers in St. John's to make sure the emergency contact numbers are for St. John's, Newfoundland, and not Saint John, New Brunswick.