What is a false Alarm?   Any­time a mon­i­tor­ing sta­tion receives an alarm sig­nal that is caused by user error, acci­dent, or a mal­func­tion, it is con­sid­ered a false alarm. If it can­not be ver­i­fied by the oper­a­tor it can result in a “Dis­patch” of the author­i­ties. Fire and/or Alarm dis­patch­es can result in sig­nif­i­cant finan­cial penal­ties.

Did you know that more than 80% of false alarms are relat­ed to pre­ventable user errors? Did you know that 80% of false alarms are caused by 20% of users?  Unfor­tu­nate­ly false alarms cost all of us. They take Police away from legit­i­mate and some­times life threat­en­ing mat­ters. They become a nui­sance to you and your neigh­bours, they make your sys­tem less reli­able, and make you reluc­tant to use your sys­tem.  Any costs asso­ci­at­ed with False Alarms are the respon­si­bil­i­ty of the account hold­er, usu­al­ly the home/business own­er.

To pre­vent False Alarms we need to know what caus­es them.  Some very com­mon caus­es include:   Inad­e­quate train­ing of peo­ple using your sys­tem, weak sys­tem bat­ter­ies, doors and win­dows that are open, unlocked, or loose fit­ting, and drafts from heaters and air con­di­tion­ing sys­tems that move plants, cur­tains, bal­loons, wall hang­ings etc.

In most cas­es some sim­ple things can keep your home or busi­ness false alarm free.   Start a habit of keep­ing your doors and win­dows locked when­ev­er pos­si­ble.  Edu­cate ALL users on how the alarm sys­tem works.  To pre­vent infre­quent users from for­get­ting the code, let them pick their own code. If you see a trou­ble light or are plan­ning ren­o­va­tions, speak with your alarm com­pa­ny first on how to keep your alarm sys­tem in good work­ing order.  Learn how to pro­tect sen­sors from excess dust, smoke, steam etc. If you see a ‘low bat­tery’ indi­ca­tor don’t ignore it. If you are think­ing of chang­ing your phone ser­vice in any way speak with your alarm com­pa­ny ser­vice depart­ment for tips on pre­vent­ing prob­lems.  Keep your emer­gency con­tact list and YOUR emer­gency con­tact infor­ma­tion cur­rent. The mon­i­tor­ing sta­tion oper­a­tors can­not be help­ful if they can­not reach you or your con­tacts due to out­dat­ed or out of ser­vice phone num­bers.

Know what to do if you set off your alarm by acci­dent.  First, don’t pan­ic. There is time, enter your dis­arm code slow­ly and method­i­cal­ly to stop the alarm and then to reset your sys­tem. Nev­er let any­one see your dis­arm code.  Do not leave the premis­es until the Mon­i­tor­ing sta­tion has called to ver­i­fy, or call in your­self, with your ID ready, to speak with an oper­a­tor.

Make sure that ANYONE that has keys to your premis­es is famil­iar with alarm use, and has prop­er ID.  Keep a list in a secure place of all alarm users, keep them informed of any changes you make to the account that would affect how the sys­tem works.

False alarm penal­ties can be in the hun­dreds of dol­lars and can esca­late rapid­ly. Please take the time to review these few sim­ple tips.  If you have any ques­tions on how any of these tips affect your account please call our ser­vice depart­ment for assis­tance.

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Allan Baum
Security Industry veteran with over 30+ years in the industry. Founded family owned and operated Protection Plus in 1994 with his wife and has overseen its growth since. In addition to working with his wife and son, Allan has assigned the role of Chief Canine Officer to his trusted dog Waub, who joins him at the office every day.