Thousands of homeowners and business rely on sophisticated alarm systems to summon help for burglaries, fires and medical emergencies. Yet about 90 percent of calls sounded each year are false alarms, tripped inadvertently because of user error and faulty equipment.

As an alarm owner, you should know the severity of a false alarm dispatch is the same as falsely calling 911.

Most false alarms are caused either by user error or an environmental factor at the location – such as birds in a warehouse tripping a motion detector. So the best way to limit false alarms is through knowledge of your system and the location it is designed to protect. For instance, motion detectors shouldn’t be installed in areas where pets can roam.

In the event of a FIRE ALARM, NEVER assume that it is a false alarm. Treat every fire alarm as the real thing. Do not reset the alarm until the fire department arrives. They need to see where the problem is in case it is a malfunction.

Why are false alarms a problem? False alarms take police away from real emergencies. This embarrassing situation for you can endanger the responding authorities and the whole community.

False alarms can lead neighbors to ignore your alarm when it goes off.

False alarms make you reluctant to arm your system, exposing your home and property to undetected theft or fire.

False alarms can cost you money! Many cities and towns assess costly fines for excessive false alarms.

False alarms make your security system less reliable and credible.

Learn how YOU can Prevent False Alarms

Be comfortable using your system

  • Test your system regularly.
  • Keep a sheet with simple operating procedures for the system handy.
  • Be comfortable with how much time you have to arm and disarm your system.
  • Before leaving securely close and lock all protected doors and windows.
  • Keep pets, fans, heaters, balloons, etc. Away from motion sensor areas.

Everyone who has keys to your home and business must know how to operate your security system.

  • Remind visiting relatives, kids returning from school, etc. How to use your system.

Have all alarm system users practice the process to cancel an accidental alarm.

  • If a false alarm occurs – don’t panic! Enter your disarm code carefully to reset your alarm.
  • If you set off your alarm by accident, do not leave until you are certain that either your system is either reset or your central station calls you and you give your password or ID code.
  • If you don’t understand any aspect of your alarm system, ask your dealer!
  • service and maintain the system regularly before false alarms occurs.

Keep in touch with your alarm company!

  • Provide your Central Station with current key holder information.
  • Contact your alarm company and tell them of any changes in your telephone service or if you get a new area code.
  • Contact your alarm company as soon as you obtain a new pet.
  • Ask your alarm company about available service and maintenance programs.

The bottom line is to be comfortable with your alarm system, and to communicate with your alarm company. Call with any questions, concerns, or changes in your household or business since the system was installed.