Nationwide, approximately 98% of alarm activations that police respond to are false. False alarms are a major nuisance to police departments because they divert officers from legitimate emergencies. Not only are they a burden to police departments but also to the property owners, neighbors and alarm companies. Property owners receive a fine by the city if an officer is dispatched to a false alarm; based on your city of residence, some departments allow up to one or two free false alarms. Regardless, it’s a situation you’re better off avoiding. The following are a few tips to help prevent future false alarms:
Memorize your codes – the majority of alarm activations are from entering incorrect passwords and user error. Avoiding
forgotten passwords will help prevent the amount of false alarm activations. Customers should create codes that are easy for the whole household to remember but difficult for an intruder to guess. Also, it’s very important that everyone in the household is trained on how to arm/disarm the alarm system properly.
Install “pet friendly” sensors – if your household has pets roaming around the house during the day, they can set off motion detectors that activate the alarm. It is wise to invest in pet immune sensors instead of traditional sensors. Pet immune sensors are affordable and made to ignore the presence of pets (based on weight). If the household does not have pets, it’s still a good idea to keep away any hanging or stray objects that might come near the motion detectors throughout the day.
Secure windows and doors – before activating your home security system, it’s wise to always check on all windows and doors to make sure they are completely closed/locked.
Replace batteries regularly – we always inform our customers ahead of time when we receive a low battery signal by sending them a letter in the mail. Also, your alarm system itself will warn you when its batteries are running low.
Maintain your system – if your property’s alarm activations are occurring because of a malfunction in the system, report the issue to your security provider immediately. Alarm systems can sometimes be affected by strong weather or nearby construction work. If the weather has affected your alarm system or you are planning on remodeling your home, it is important to notify your alarm company, in case any reconfiguration needs to be done. Just knowing how your alarm works will help you better prevent false alarms.
At worst case scenario: if the alarm is triggered and you are aware it’s a false alarm, the most important thing to do is to inform your monitoring company. Do not wait for them to call you first because if the monitoring company does not get a hold of anyone on your emergency contact list on first try, they will automatically dispatch police to check on the property for an intrusion. If police is dispatched and no crime has occurred on the property, the owner will then be fined.