6 Steps to Reducing Those Annoying False Security Alarms at Home
False alarms on a home security system can be just as bad as no alarm at all. Just ask city dwellers if they run outside in their slippers every time they hear a car alarm go off. Of course not! The frequency of these (often benign) events has desensitized most people to the sound.
But, with more and more people seeing the value of a home alarm system, false alarms can create real problems.
For one, it compromises local police by sending units out on wild goose chases, diverting them from actual emergencies. Some municipalities have begun issuing fines for frequent false alarms and are even denying service to a household or business with continued offenses.
There’s also the risk that, as with car alarms, frequent accidental alarms on a home security system can desensitize your family—leading you to ignore what might actually be a threat.
All too often, though, an accidental alarm is caused by something pretty simple.
What can you do to reduce false alarms?
- Review the operating manual and take time to educate everyone with access to your home on proper system operation.
- Be familiar with the steps to cancel an accidental alarm. In some instances, your alarm company will contact you to verify an alarm before summoning authorities.
- Check your alarm battery backup, as low-battery voltage is the second most common cause of accidental alarms.
- Regularly check alarm contact switches/magnets on doors and windows; if there is any damage or if they’re coming loose, you’ll need to call your alarm system provider for service adjustments.
- Have the settings on any glass-break detectors verified, so that loud noises like thunder (or that obnoxious bass booming from a car on the street) will not trigger an alarm.
- Aim any motion detectors away from air vents, sources of heat, fireplaces and windows.
Home alarm systems can improve your home’s security and provide a great feeling of confidence. But it can also be pretty embarrassing to have a swarm of police cars surround your house simply because you forgot to tell your spouse you changed the alarm code.
Rather than risk a fine or have a legitimate alarm ignored, you can take a few simple steps to prevent false alarms from ever being an inconvenience—for you or the authorities.
Frank Rivera is the director of digital marketing for ADT Security Systems.
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