One of the biggest issues with the use of an alarm system is the problem of false alarms. Most false alarms are caused either by user error or equipment malfunction. Being familiar with your security system and partnering with a company that is dedicated to the latest technology can help reduce false alarms.
These are responsible for 94% to 98% of all alarm calls and most police departments have fines in place in an effort to cut down on false alarms.
False alarms are not only embarrassing and costly for homeowners; they eat up a lot of valuable police resources and tax dollars that could be better spent elsewhere.
What can you do to prevent false alarms? Here are some easy steps that every owner of an alarm system should follow.
- Keep your alarm system in good operating condition. Test it once a month. Have it inspected as necessary by trained, professional technicians. Report and repair faulty devices immediately. It’s hard to remember to perform monthly checks on the equipment so make sure you put a reminder into your calendar.
- Keep ground-floor doors and windows in good condition. Doors that won’t latch properly should be repaired so that the wind doesn’t blow them open. Windows that are not secured properly in their frames could lead to an accidental alarm. Not only does this reduce false alarms it also helps secure your home against intruders.
- Ensure that everyone who is going to use the alarm system is trained in its proper operation. Make special arrangements for house-guests, cleaning companies, delivery people or repair technicians. It is important to make sure family members are familiar with the system in case of an emergency.
- Make sure that all authorized users of the system know the passcode. The passcode is our only method of identifying you over the telephone. We need that information to cancel an alarm or to discuss your account. You can have more than one passcode.
- Advise all authorized users to answer the telephone if it rings after they’ve accidentally set off the alarm system. Your monitoring station will be calling to verify the alarm so don’t ignore that ringing telephone.
- If you accidentally set off your alarm you can also try calling your central monitoring station first. Do so from a cellular phone or another line, however, because the alarm system may still be in the process of using your telephone line to send additional signals.
- If you accidentally set off a silent alarm that calls for immediate police response such as a panic, duress, or hold-up alarm, it is imperative that you call the monitoring station immediately! Unless you have notes on your account stating otherwise, your monitoring station will NOT call to verify a silent alarm; they will immediately send the police.
- Keep your account up-to-date! Immediately inform your alarm company of any changes to your account such as authorized users, telephone numbers, passcodes, addition of pets, etc.
- Always use exhaust fans when cooking. This makes it less likely that you accidentally set off a smoke detector.
- Don’t leave things hanging from the ceiling (balloons, decorations, etc.) in a room that contains a motion detector.
- Before arming the system, make sure that everyone has left the premises.
- Always notify your alarm company before you do any remodeling and make sure that they are aware of any changes or additions that might affect the proper operation of your alarm system.
Overall, one of the best ways to avoid accidentally triggering an alarm is to be familiar with all your system’s components.