Every year false alarms cause financial difficulties for communities and police departments across the country because they divert resources from police departments, fire departments, and emergency call centers for no reason at all. In some communities, the prevalence of false alarms is so high that regulations have been put in place to penalize businesses and homeowners who are repeat offenders.Home security systems are designed not only to help discourage burglars from breaking into your home, but also give you an added peace of mind. According to a study conducted by UNC Charlotte’s Department of Criminal Justice & Criminology, approximately “60% of burglars indicated that the presence of an alarm would cause them to seek an alternative target altogether.” While security systems offer many benefits, the one obstacle people often overlook when it comes to home security – for customers, security companies, municipalities and police agencies alike – is the dreaded false alarm.
Preventing false alarms may be easier than you think. Something as simple as replacing a battery can help reduce the burden placed on police departments responding to false alarms when real crimes are being committed elsewhere. If you own a home security system or intend to get one in the future, please understand this: not only is preventing
false alarms a good idea, it is also your responsibility as a homeowner. Here are some ways you can aid in false alarm prevention:
The first step in preventing false alarms is to know and understand exactly how your system works. If you are new to home security, make sure your installation technician walks you through your system before wrapping up. Take as much time as you need, even if that means your technician needs to spend some extra time with you.
If you forget something down the road, do not ever hesitate to contact your security company for help. If need be, ask for a technician or sales representative to come by and walk you through the system again.
Changes in Circumstances
If your circumstances at home change in such a way as to affect your security system, contact your monitoring company and ask what you should do. One example would be bringing a new cat or dog and the house, only to have motion sensors triggered when the animal walks into a given room.
Before bringing your new pet home, it is a good idea to contact your security company and ask if the animal is likely to trigger an alarm while you are at work. Sometimes it is just a simple matter of having a technician come and change your motion sensor setup. The point is, never simply assume everything will be okay when your circumstances change.
Educating your Guests
Just as you required a system walk-through when your alarm was first installed, any long-term guests residing at your home need that same thorough education. It is no coincidence that a large percentage of false alarms are triggered by guests unfamiliar with keypad operation.
Along those same lines, you should inform your security company you will be having guests so they can be assigned a temporary security code. It is never a good idea to allow your guests to use your number because of the possibility of it falling into the wrong hands.
Our last tip for reducing false alarms is to continue to test your system monthly. System tests can usually be run in a few minutes via your home security provider’s customer website. Between system tests, homeowners should do a visual inspection to make sure window and door sensors are still firmly seated, motion detectors on the wall have not moved, video cameras are still aimed correctly, and so on.
With a little bit of effort it is not difficult to prevent false alarms. If you need help , please feel free to contact us. We would be happy to help.