“False Alarms are Everybody’s Business”
What you can do to reduce them?
One of the biggest issues with the use of an alarm system is the problem of “false alarms”. Most false alarms are caused either by user error or equipment malfunction. Regardless of their cause, false alarms are not only embarrassing and costly for the user, they also endanger responding authorities and may take them away from responding to a real emergency.
Many municipalities across the country are instituting fines for excessive false alarms. Some communities have even stopped responding to burglary alarms completely because of the number of false alarms they responded to.
So what can you do to prevent false alarms? Here are some easy steps that every owner of an alarm system should follow:
- Keep your alarm system in good operating condition. Have it inspected as necessary by trained, professional technicians. Report and repair faulty devices immediately.
- Keep protected doors and windows in good condition. Doors that won’t latch properly should be repaired so that the wind doesn’t blow them open. Windows with excessive play in the frames could lead to an accidental alarm.
- Ensure that everyone who is going to use the alarm system is trained in its proper operation. Make special arrangements for house-guests, cleaning companies, delivery people or repair technicians.
- Make sure that all authorized users of the system know the passcode. The passcode is our only method of identifying you over the telephone and is absolutely necessary to cancel an alarm or to discuss your account. You can have more than one passcode as necessary.
- Advise all authorized users to answer the telephone if it rings after they’ve accidentally set off the alarm system. The Central Station will be calling to verify the alarm so don’t ignore that ringing telephone. (Tell them to have their passcode ready!)
- If you accidentally set off your alarm you can also try calling the Central Station first. We recommend that you do so from a cellular phone or another line, however, because the alarm system may still be in the process of using your telephone line to send additional signals. Don’t forget to have your passcode ready!
- If you accidentally set off a silent alarm such as a panic, duress, or hold-up alarm, it is imperative that you call the Central Station immediately! Unless you have notes on your account to the contrary the Central Station will NOT call to verify on a silent alarm; they will immediately send the police.
- Test your system often! We recommend that you test it at least once a month. To test your system, simply call us and we will be happy to walk you through the testing or schedule a convenient time for a more thorough test.
- Make sure the telephone number for the Central Station is posted near all of your telephones.
- Keep your account up-to-date! Immediately inform your alarm company of any changes to your account such as authorized users, telephone numbers, passcodes, addition of pets, etc.
- Always use exhaust fans when cooking so you don’t accidentally set off a smoke detector.
- Don’t leave things hanging from the ceiling (balloons, decorations, etc.) in a room that contains a motion detector.
- Before arming the system, make sure that everyone has left the premise.
- Always notify your alarm company before you do any remodeling and make sure that they are aware of any changes or additions that might affect the proper operation of your alarm system. Concrete and drywall dust can set off your smoke alarms, for example.
By following the above tips you can greatly reduce the chance of a false alarm. If you have any other questions concerning false alarms, please call us at 610-800-0569.