Everybody is familiar with the boy who cried wolf, and what happens when someone raises a false alarm. However, in the real world of business and home security systems, false alarms aren’t child’s play. In fact, according to law enforcement officials, false alarms can significantly strain police resources, costing millions, if not, billions of dollars nationwide.
In addition to the strain placed on local law enforcement, false alarms have also been identified as the chief consumer complaint by insurance companies, and home security professionals. According to the Department of Justice, one of the most common causes of false alarms is human error, which means steps can be taken to prevent or reduce them.
You can work with your security system provider to minimize the occurrence of false alarms. Other than a fire alarm, law enforcement officials define a false alarm as any alarm triggered by human error or equipment malfunction that initiates a response by police or security company personnel, in the absence of any evidence of a crime actually having occurred. Here are some simple tips you can take to help minimize the occurrence of false alarms with your home security system:
- Now that the holiday season is here, DO NOT hang decorations near motion sensors;
- Always keep fresh batteries in all wireless devices and remotes;
- Be sure your monitoring station team has all the contact numbers necessary to notify someone after they dispatch the proper authorities;
- Keep any moving items such as curtains, balloons, even pets, away from the path of motion sensors. You can work with your alarm provider to adjust the system so your pets can roam freely;
- Be sure all the members of the household know how to operate the system, and how to cancel an inadvertent or unnecessary alarm, and know their password;
- Call your monitoring company for service anytime you think the system is not operating properly;
- Be sure to notify your alarm company in advance if you plan to remodel your home or change your phone or Internet service provider.
False alarms can be problems for homeowners and law enforcement officials. However, by working hand-in-hand with your professional home alarm monitoring service, you can make every effort to keep them to a minimum.