When an intruder breaks into your home, there’s no quicker
way to scare him off than the blare of your home security system siren. Coupled
with the alert it provides your alarm monitoring company and the subsequent
call to law enforcement, a home security system is your best line of defense. False alarms, however, can be frustrating for
homeowners, neighbors and police.
Reports estimate that 10-25 percent of all calls to police
result from false security alarms. This distracts officers from other important
duties and can cost communities like Orlando, Gainesville and Ocala tens of
thousands of dollars in wasted police man hours. As a result, most cities have
ordinances in place to fine excessive false alarms.
To prevent false alarms, homeowners have the responsibility
to make sure their equipment is properly maintained and used. Here are some
tips to reduce your chances of triggering false alarms.
Doors and Windows
It’s always a good idea to keep doors and windows locked,
but it’s especially important to make sure entry points protected with alarm
sensors are closed tightly and locked before setting your alarm system. If
these points are not properly sealed, they could trigger your alarm.
Make sure everyone who is permitted access to your home
knows how to properly use the alarm system. This includes any children in the
house who may be old enough to come and go without an adult present. Friends
who agree to check in on your home while you’re away should also receive
hands-on training, not just a note on the counter.
If house cleaners, handymen or other service people
regularly enter your home, they too should be taught how to use the system.
Better yet, get a security system that includes home automation so you
can lock and unlock doors and turn the alarm system off and on remotely. When
someone needs to be allowed inside the home, they simply call you and you
provide access via your alarm’s smartphone application.
Leaving and Returning
If you set the alarm and leave only to remember something
you left inside, don’t rely on the alarm system’s delay to allow you time to
get in and back out again. Disable the alarm, get what you need and then set
the alarm system again.
Make sure motion detectors are positioned to avoid
accidental triggers. Drafts from fans and air conditioners can blow objects
like balloons and dangling decorations into the detector’s range of motion and
activate the alarm. You should also secure pets in rooms without motion
detectors or have the detectors angled such that pets can’t cross their view. Read more about making alarm motion sensors pet friendly.
Always make sure your equipment is in proper working
condition. Check door and window sensors to ensure they are not loose. Watch
for mechanical alerts on your control panel and replace batteries before they
get too low.
If your alarm system is unintentionally triggered while
you’re home, and you are absolutely certain there is not an intruder in the
house, simply use your keypad code to disable to alert. If you do so quickly
enough, usually within 30 seconds, the false alarm is cancelled. If it takes
longer, a Crime Prevention Security Systems representative will phone and
request your password. Providing the correct password will cancel the false
False alarms are sometimes unavoidable, but by following the
tips above, you’ll reduce the chances and keep our brave police officers out on
the streets. They’ll certainly thank you for it.