A false alarm is when an alarm system is triggered without an obvious cause (eg, an intruder). It can be caused by insects, pests and pets moving in front of a detector, equipment malfunction or user error.
False alarms use up valuable police time and resources. Also, repeated false alarms can cause apathy resulting in neighbours simply ignoring the alarm.
False alarms can be caused by:
- insects, pests and pets moving in front of a detector
- power failure or surges
- telecommunications failure
- poor or incorrect installation
- inadequate maintenance program
- incorrect equipment for the situation
- old equipment
- objects hanging in front of a detector
- drafts or breezes from open windows or air conditioners
- user error.
How to reduce false alarms
There are some basic steps you can take to minimise not only false alarms but also repeat service calls by those responding. You can:
- cover detectors with a bag and spray around the detector with surface spray to deter insects and pests
- regularly clean, to remove insects webs and/or a build up of dust on the outside of detectors as this will help ensure the detector functions effectively.
- close windows and doors and switch off air conditioners as drafts can move curtains and blinds causing false alarms.
- avoid hanging mobiles and other items from the ceiling near an alarm, as these can trigger a false alarm.
- ensure an alarm technician completes periodical services and repair any problems immediately
- if the system is monitored, advise the monitoring company of any changes to users of the system and have an alarm technician check your alarm system if your are experiencing false activations
- ensure all users know how to correctly use system
- ensure duress/panic pendants or buttons are not placed in a location that allows them to be activated accidentally.
You should also:
- ensure your contact details are up-to-date with your monitoring company
- advise your monitoring company prior to testing your alarm.
- change alarm codes on a regular basis or when there is a change in users.
- avoid leaving pets inside when the alarm is activated (internal audible sirens can cause pets undue distress when activated).