Preventing False Alarms
1. Teach EVERYONE who has a key how to properly turn your alarm on and off (including the housekeeper, babysitter, real estate agent). Include instructions on how to cancel a false alarm.
2. Make sure a phone is accessible and within hearing range of anyone who will use your alarm system (in the case of an intrusion alarm your alarm company is required by law to attempt to call you and verify an alarm signal before dispatching the police).
3. Notify your alarm company of ALL changes you make, including phone upgrades, changes in responsible parties (individuals to notify in the case of an alarm), new business hours, and additional key holders.
4. Get your system tested regularly, and get potentially faulty equipment repaired or replaced IMMEDIATELY! Be sure to replace your batteries at least once a year.
5. Be sure that everyone (including your pet) is out of the monitored zones prior to engaging your alarm, or make sure to turn your system to "stay" mode. If you have indoor pets, talk to your alarm company about "pet-proof" sensors and other options.
6. If you alarm gets activated by storms or wind, have your alarm company make the required sensitivity adjustments.
7. Do not leave anything in a monitored room that may move. This includes plants, balloons, flags, and other decorations which may be affected by the ventilation system.
8. If your fireplace is in use, make sure that any motion detectors in that area are bypassed.
9. Make sure ALL windows and doors are securely CLOSED and LOCKED. If something won't secure properly, DO NOT set the alarm (this includes loose-fitting, damaged, or warped doors and windows).
10. Upgrade old alarm systems to current equipment conforming to Security Industry Association (SIA) false alarm prevention standards.
The three major causes of false alarms are: (1) user errors: (2) installation or service errors: and (3) equipment failures.
Alarm companies and alarm users must be responsible for the use and maintenance of alarm systems to help ensure prompt police response when an emergency really does exist.