It is the middle of the night, and your dog is begging to be let outside. You open the back door to let them out, and the next thing you know your alarm is going off and your whole family is awake. As you are trying to get the dog back inside so you can lock up, you realize you missed the call from your security company. Next thing you know, the cops are at your doorstep asking if everyone is okay.
False alarms, whether from home or business security systems, do happen—and that is okay. However, learning how to prevent frequent false alarms benefits not only you but also your security company and first responders. It is not just annoying to deal with a false alarm, it is also a drain on law enforcement resources. In some cities, these unnecessary visits can even cost you, as some police departments may charge fees for false alarms, especially in cases where they have responded more than once.
Aside from the hassle they cause, false alarms can also cause frustration and dissatisfaction with your security systems. So, in hopes to prevent future false alarms, Security Equipment Inc. wants to provide you with some tips to minimize avoidable alarms.
Understand Your System Properly
When you first get your security system installed, you may be inundated with the operations, but feel you’ve got the “gist” of how it works. We cannot stress enough that understanding what you have and how it functions will help you in a lifesaving situation, not just in preventing false alarms. If you need to, have your security company come out again to go over the functionalities. For example, everyone in your household should know the difference between “armed” and “unarmed”. SEi is more than happy to provide additional teaching, whether in person or from our instructional videos.
Another piece of understanding your system is knowing your passphrase or number and recognizing if other family members have separate codes. When a false alarm is happening, your passphrase or code can help both you and your security provider stop the alarm as soon as possible.
Test Your Security System
Testing your security system every month is crucial in making sure it is always functioning properly. Anything as simple as hiring an electrician to work on something unrelated in your home or business could disrupt the functionality of your system. At SEi, testing your system is as easy as calling us and requesting a test.
Change Batteries Frequently
Low batteries can lead to false alarms. It is important to change the batteries out frequently and to have extra batteries on hand just in case. Often times, the equipment will notify you if the batteries are running low, but you still need to keep an eye out for it.
Use Pet-Immune Motion Detection
Those who have motion detectors inside, but also have pets, may want to look into pet-immune motion detectors to prevent false alarms. SEi can provide motion sensors with sensitivity sensors that allow the alarm to ignore movement from pets, depending on their size. Those with larger dogs may want to look at other solutions, but it is important to have a consultation with your security professional to know what works best for your specific situation.
Set Up Delayed Entry or Exit Alarms
This provides you time to get in or out of your house without a false alarm. Typically, people set up a delayed entry on their front door so that they can set down their things, take off their coat, or whatever else is necessary before disarming the alarm. It could also be placed on the back door if you have a dog that likes to go outside frequently. It all depends on your personal situation, but SEi excels in customizing our security systems to meet your specific needs.
Clean Your Devices
Outdoor surveillance cameras can become cloudy and dirty from the elements—much like backup cameras on your car. Cleaning cameras of dirt and grime can help prevent false alarms. We ask that anyone who cleans their cameras themselves be safe and know that you can always ask one of our technicians to come and safely and properly clean the lenses at any time.
In addition to keeping your cameras clean, also be sure to keep the area around motion sensors clear. Anything from a plant outside blowing in the wind to a balloon in the house can not only cause a false alarm but also obstruct the view if an emergency were to happen.
Partition Your System
A partition refers to a sectioned-off portion of an alarm system that can be operated independently from the rest of the system. It is often used in businesses, where partitioning the office space, warehouse, or even display cases from the storefront can benefit the overall security. However, it can also be used in homes for certain rooms or for specialty items like gun cases and safes.
Customize Your Call List
With SEi, you can customize your call list when an alarm goes off. This could mean requesting we call more than one person or call certain people a certain number of times. We do not put any limit on the number of people you can have us call. Additionally, we can also customize the call list by zone to induce different responses. For example, if your basement sump pump alarm goes off, it may make sense for us to call not only you but also your next-door neighbor if they can check on it quicker.