10 Easy Ways to Avoid False Alarms
False alarms are more than a mere annoyance. They have a large impact on how secure our homes, businesses, and communities will be. If your home sends too many false alarms, for example, your neighbors and the police may stop responding when there is an actual alarm and emergency. Police departments that spend too much of their time responding to false alarms may decide to charge fines, or in some cases, could refuse to respond.
A large majority of false alarms are caused by simple human error, which is good, because it means we all have the opportunity to prevent false alarms by learning the most common mistakes that cause them. Read our list of ten easy ways to avoid false alarms and you can ward off upset neighbors, loud sirens, and unnecessary police dispatches.
- Always have your password and pass code ready.
- Call us immediately when you have a false alarm
- Train every alarm user.
- Add an extra verification phone number
- Beware of moving objects and animals.
- Expecting someone? Plan Accordingly.
- Be sure doors and windows are tight-fitting.
- Remodeling, Spray Painting, or Fumigating? Call us first!
- Call us if there's smoke, but no fire.
- Keep younger children away from keypads, sensors, and remote units.
This may seem obvious, but it is actually the most common reason that false alarms are dispatched on. Take some time to memorize your password and pass code so this doesn't happen to you.
Give us a call right away at the central station if you accidentally set off your alarm. Be sure to have your password and information ready for our operator so we can cancel the alarm for you. Your central station phone number should be stored in your phone or near your alarm panel so you have it available when you need it. Can't remember where you put that number? Here it is:
Whenever someone new will be using the alarm system, take some time to teach them how to use it. You can even put the system in test with our central station so they can practice arming and disarming with their code until they feel confident. When you're done, give us a call back to confirm that you would like your alarm system back online again.
Consider adding an extra number that can be called BEFORE dispatch. This could be your cell phone number or another household member or business associate. This extra phone call can give you an extra opportunity to verify whether you really need the police to be dispatched out to your home or business.
If you are in a situation that would have you at a higher risk of an actual break-in (i.e. high crime area or assault victim), we would not advise this extra verification step, as a faster police response time would be critical under these circumstances.
Motion sensors are important for catching movement when a burglar breaks in. However, your motion detectors will also catch your party balloons, free roaming pets, and movement caused by running space heaters and open windows. Before setting your alarm, be sure to put your pets or balloons in a room where they will not set off motion detectors. Also, turn off space heaters and close those windows before setting your alarm and leaving.
Another option for your pets is to invest in a special pet motion detector which is programmed to ignore the movements of your furry friends but is still smart enough to detect a human being.
Real estate agents, cable company, pest control, deliverymen . . . you get the idea. If you have a traditional alarm system that you arm and disarm at your premises, and you know that you cannot be there to let them in, keep your alarm off. However, if you have our Mobile Access plan or a smart automation security system, you will have the ability to keep your alarm system on until your expected guest arrives. Just be sure your visitor lets you know when they arrive so you can disarm your alarm system remotely before they go inside. An added benefit to a smart automation system is the automated locks, which would allow you to lock and unlock your doors remotely as well.
Doors loosen over time. Check to make sure your strike plates and hinges are secure so that your doors move no more than 1/4 of an inch when pushed or pulled in a closed position. This will keep your door sensors well connected.
With everything that needs to be done for a remodeling project, the last thing you may think to do is call your security company, but you should actually call us first. We can advise you about the best way to proceed with your security system during remodeling. Some projects may need some minor adjustments to alarm responses, while others may need the alarm system placed in test or disengaged. Also, be sure to cover your smoke detectors before starting heavy construction projects to keep your detectors from being contaminated by flying debris. Contaminated smoke detectors can send false smoke alarms long after your remodeling project is complete, so take this extra step to protect them BEFORE beginning construction.
Call the central station right away if you have smoke building up in your home or business but there is no need for a fire department response. You can place your fire system on test until the smoke clears and then call us once everything is back to normal.
There are plenty of older children that you can teach to use your alarm system. For the others, wait until they are older or mature enough and keep alarm components out of their reach until then.
Now that you know the top ten ways to avoid false alarms, you will be less likely to have them. The next time you host a birthday party at your home, for example, you will see those floating balloons much differently than you did before. If you ever have problems with false alarms and cannot figure out how to solve it, please give us a call right away.
Stay tuned for more safety tips brought to you by Central Security Services.