Preventing False Alarms In Your Home Security System

While your new home security system is intended to keep your home and family safe, it can put a burden on local law enforcement when issuing false alarms. Up to 25 percent of the calls to your local police station are due to home systems sending a false alarm. This keeps the police busy responding to these alarms instead of to people who have a real need for their help. Here is how you can reduce the number of false alarms the police department receives.

1. Every family member should be trained on the system.

Don't rely on family members reading a manual or getting instruction from another family member. Have everyone go through a training session with an on-site installation technician. That way everyone can get their questions answered and can be sure that they have the procedures down for enabling and disabling the alarm system.

2. Have each person practice the procedures until they are comfortable with each step.

A few seconds will lapse between the time a person enables the home alarm and the door and window sensors are functional. This allows a person to set the alarm, walk out of the house and close the door before the alarm goes off. Likewise, a person has a few seconds after they open a door to go to the alarm panel and disable the alarm before it goes off. Everyone should practice leaving and entering the house until they can do it with time to spare before the alarm is triggered.

3. Go over the procedures for dealing with a false alarm with each person.

If the alarm goes off, you'll have a few seconds to act before the monitoring service contacts the local police to come to your house. This gives you time to call the service and tell them that the alarm was triggered accidentally. Typically, you'll need to give the service a special code so they can verify that a family member is calling. They may even require that they call you back to insure that they are speaking with one of the family.

Make sure that each family member is clear about this procedure, has access to the phone number that they need to call, and the code they will give the service. Don't leave this information in sight near the control panel or it may be discovered by an intruder who will attempt to cancel the triggered alarm. Put the information in a safe place that is easy for family members to get to.

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