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How To Reduce False Alarms

How many times have you burnt food that you were cooking and had the smoke alarm start incessantly beeping? When correctly designed, installed and maintained, automatic fire detection and alarm systems play an essential role in keeping premises and occupants safe from fire.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of activations turn out to be false alarms that significantly impact both the fire service and the building’s occupants.

False alarms disrupt the normal operation of the business and create a drain on resources. They can even prejudice occupants’ safety, who might not react correctly when the system responds to a genuine danger if they have recently experienced several false alarms.

Most common causes of false alarms

Faulty equipment. Even though most of the top home security companies utilise high-quality equipment from leading manufacturers, there may be occasions where a defective piece of equipment is the source of false alarms.

Human error. Any person with permission to enter the home must understand how to operate the system. Home security systems are easy to use, and they don’t require significant training. Still, some homeowners don’t take the necessary time to learn the system, leading to an error in operating with the system.

Low batteries or inconsistent power source. Batteries in most wireless home security systems occasionally need to be changed and replaced. These system components typically give audible warnings when the battery levels are low, but a low battery can trigger a false alarm in some cases. The unreliable or inconsistent power source can also be the cause of false alarms.

Unlocked or loose doors and windows. Door and window sensors are activated when the connection between the two sensors is disrupted. A loose door or window can easily be rattled by the wind and trigger an alarm.

Incorrect installation. When installing the home security system, all sensors and detectors need to be appropriately aligned, and all other equipment installed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Pets, rodents, and insects. Pets, rodents, or insects will trigger some motion detectors. Homeowners with pets should be certain the home security system has pet-friendly sensors.

Best ways to reduce false alarms

Choose the right home security system. Your circumstances will determine what type of system is appropriate for your home or business. Some home security systems are installed by licensed professionals, while the homeowner installs others. You should take the time to learn about the best home security systems’ features before selecting and finding out which one will work best for you.

Utilise a brief familiarisation period. Many home security companies will allow a short familiarisation period after installing a new home security system. During this period, no signals received at the monitoring centre will be dispatched to the police department or other authorities. False alarms that occur during this period will give you an excellent opportunity to get familiar with the system.

Train those with access to the home security system. Every person who has permission to be in your home should be appropriately trained on using the system. This includes understanding how to arm/disarm the system, knowledge of alarm codes and passwords, and the process for cancelling an accidental alarm activation.

Install a home security system with two-way communication capabilities. Some home security keypads utilise two-way voice technology that enables the dispatcher to hear what is happening in the home. This will allow you to communicate directly to the monitoring centre, whether a police dispatch is necessary.

Require dual verification. Following an alarm activation, with access to audio or video resources, requiring the monitoring centre to obtain an audio or visual confirmation before dispatching authorities will help reduce false alarms.

Conduct a short debriefing after a false alarm occurs. After a false alarm occurs, it’s important to take the time to determine what triggered the alarm and to ensure the action is avoided in the future. If you cannot determine the false alarm’s cause, you should be cautious and reach out to the home security company for guidance and assistance.

Perform occasional maintenance. To ensure that all sensors, detectors, cameras, and any other home security component is secured, clean, and working as designed. Excessive dust, spider webs, and loose sensors and detectors can all be the source of false alarms.

There are also some other ways to reduce false alarm.

Make sure that all windows and doors are secure before setting the alarm and use deadbolt locks.

Spray insect repellent around sensors and detectors twice a year and contact a professional exterminator if rodents, insects, or other pests are a repeated problem

Ensure that panic buttons or other emergency activation features are out of children’s reach and ensure that the monitoring centre has current contact information and that call lists and emergency contacts are accurate.

Inform the alarm company or monitoring centre if you expect to be away from home for an extended period.

If you have a problem with repeat false alarm activations or you would like to discuss the issue of false alarms in general, please contact

Tel: 0333 335 35 36

51 Geoffrey Blackwell Close, Coggeshall CO6 1FP, United Kingdom

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