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Reduce False Alarms from Your Alarm System

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False alarms will affect you and the community in a negative way. Most counties have instituted false alarm fines that can run you hundreds or thousands of dollars. It can eventually cause you so much frustration that you will stop using it. In most cases the causes are easily fixed but often ignored.

What is a False Alarm?

  • For A Burglar or Holdup Alarm: A false alarm is notification of an alarm to law enforcement when the responding authority finds no evidence of criminal offense or attempted criminal offense.
  • For a Fire Alarm: The activation of any fire alarm system which results in a response by the fire department and which is caused by the negligence or intentional misuse of the fire alarm system by the owner, its employees, agents or any other activation of a fire alarm system not caused by heat, smoke or fire.

More times than not false alarms are caused by the user of the alarm system. Lack of experience or the lack of understanding how it works are common causes. I remember when I installed my first alarm system. I have installed alarm systems for years but my family was not used to the addition of a security system. In the first week we had 4 false alarms. My wife did not enter the code fast enough, my son forgot to disarm when he got up to go to work and my elderly father-in-law forgot about the system completely and I had an existing contact that false in the middle of the night.

So, since I was tired of getting up in the middle of the night I approached each incident and fixed the problems. My wife armed and disarmed several times to make sure she had the sequence down. The audio on the alarm was increased so my son would hear the countdown. My Father-in-law was a little more of an issue. He gets up in the middle of the night to let his little dog out so I had to design something custom for him. I added a shunt switch for the back door so he could flip the switch before he went out the door which allowed the rest of the system to stay armed. I also added a led to the switch so he could visually see when the door was alarmed. And the simple fix was to replace the faulty contact on the kitchen window.

The system is now false alarm free!

Tips to Reduce False Alarms from Your Alarm System

The first step in correctly false alarms is to identify the cause and then correct it. Here are some of the more common causes:

  • Using the wrong code to disarm
  • Users not understanding how to use the system
  • Unsecured windows and doors that open after arming the system
  • Trying to beat the entry or exit delay
  • Pets
  • Objects hanging by motion detectors
  • Incorrect placement of Motion Detectors
  • Faulty Equipment

After Identification you must correct the issue:

  • Make sure everyone knows their code to arm and disarm
  • Have everyone that will ever use the system go through the arming and disarming several times until they are comfortable
  • Make sure all of the windows and doors are closed tight before arming.
  • If pets set off the alarm then change your motion detector placement or change the detector to a pet immune type
  • Perform regular maintenance and testing on your system to ensure proper operation

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