False alarms can occur due to a variety of causes such as defective equipment, environmental conditions, or even lack of operating knowledge by the user. False alarms are costly and are an inconvenience to you and law enforcement agencies. False alarms can lead neighbors to ignore your alarm when it goes off. False alarms make your security system less reliable and credible. False alarms may make you reluctant to arm your system, exposing your home and property to undetected theft or fire.
Here are some helpful hints from the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association, Inc. that will help you to reduce false alarms:
- Before activating your system, lock all protected doors and windows.
- Keep pets, balloons, fans and heaters away from motion sensor areas.
- Know how to cancel the alarm if the system is activated.
Your community's police officers and firefighters are ready to help when your system calls, but they need your help to prevent false alarms!
What Causes False Alarms
- 76% of false alarms are caused by user error.
- Be sure to train anyone who may be using your security system such as:
- Domestic help
- Real estate agents
- Make special arrangements for house guests, repair technicians or yard workers.
- Other causes of false alarms include:
- Drafts that move plants, curtains, banners, and posters
- Helium-filled balloons
- Open, unlocked or loose-fitting doors and windows
- Wandering pets
- Weak system batteries
What if Your Alarm Goes off Accidentally
- Don't panic. Remember your codes.
- Determine if there really is a fire or intruder. If there is an intruder in your house do not go inside. Leave immediately and call the police.
- If alarm activation was accidental, carefully disarm your system by pressing each number slowly.
- Wait for the Central Station to call you if you requested that alarms be verified. Do not leave your home or business until you have spoken with the Central Station. If you are not using the verify feature, please call the Central Station to cancel.
- Upon canceling an alarm, the Central Station will ask you for your passcode. If you give the correct passcode, they will cancel the alarm. Anything other than the correct code will have the operator telling you the alarm will be canceled, but they will then call the police and advise of a possible duress situation. Make sure you know your passcode!
- Rehearse alarm operation and cancellation with users of your system.
- Make sure that anyone with a key to your home or business knows how to operate your system and has proper security and passcodes.
- Keep your security system users manual handy.
- Test your security system each month.
- Cancel all alarms that don't need an emergency response.
- Have the Central Station telephone number and your account number on hand.