Security alarms on homes and business are one of the most effective crime fighting tools available. However, a system that is constantly sending false alarms is a problem, not only for the homeowner but also for law enforcement. Fault alarm systems cause police to respond to non-emergencies when their time could be spent elsewhere. Repeated calls to the same place is like crying "wolf," and could have a serious impact in the case of a real emergency. We've all heard stories of neighbors irritated by a home alarm constantly going off down the street when they're trying to sleep. For the homeowner, false alarms are unnerving, frustrating, and disruptive.
While the technology behind security alarms is improving constantly, leading to more efficient alarm design, there are also steps you can take as the alarm owner to reduce the incidence of false burglar alarms at your home or business.
1. Choose the right alarm for your family. If you have pets, look for a pet-friendly alarm that won't be triggered by a dog or cat. These alarms will only sound when human intruder crosses their path, reducing false alarms caused by animals. A well designed security system, which has taken into account your lifestyle and movement patterns, should trigger very few if any false alarms.
2. Never leave floating balloons in a room with motion detectors. These are the culprit behind a surprisingly high number of false alarms. The movement of helium balloons leftover from parties and holidays can trigger the alarm.
3. Make sure that the doors and windows are shut completely and locked before setting any alarm. If the door is barely closed, and is blown open by the wind, the alarm will sound. Open doors and windows not only can cause false alarms, but also serve as a direct entry point for potential intruders. Get in the habit of checking all doors and windows before setting your home security alarms.
4. Check the contact between the two alarm sides. If you are experiencing false alarms on a particular door or window, make sure that the alarm has been installed properly.
5. Be aware of the sensing path of motion detector alarms. Do not place anything in their pathway or place objects in areas where they may fall into the path of motion detector alarms.
6. Make sure that authorized individuals know how to shut off the alarm. Whether it requires a password, a security code, or a simple on/off switch, those who are authorized to be in the area should know how to disarm the alarm quickly in the event that they accidentally set it off.
7. Test the alarm system at least once every three months to make sure everything is working properly. Perhaps more troubling than false alarms is the possibility that the alarm won't sound as it should. Open one door or window at a time to make sure every alarm in your home is still functioning as it should. If your system is wireless, the batteries should be replaced frequently.