Home security systems are installed to do one thing in
particular. They are installed to help homeowners
keep themselves, their families, and their belongings
safe from would-be burglars. However, alarm system
users tend to have battles with their equipment from
time to time causing monumental false alarm calls
each year. The city of Atlanta reports that in 2012 they responded to over
65,000 alarm calls and nearly 62,000 of them were from false calls.
False Alarms can happen for many reasons. Maybe the door wasn't shut
completely when the homeowner left for work and a gust of wind has now
burst it open setting off the contact. Maybe a piece of equipment has gone
haywire causing false alarm signals or a teenager has come home form school
locking themselves out setting the alarm off while trying to find a way into
the house. All of the scenarios are part of an alarm owners everyday life and
if the homeowner isn't home how are they to know if this is a true emergency?
If they are unsure of the situation when the alarm company calls then the
right thing to do would be to contact the police, but the police are seeing it
a different way and for good reason.
Unfortunately, alarm mistakes are happening more and more which is
causing a strain on the police force in both terms of manpower and money.
This strain has become so great that many agencies are now requiring an
alarm to be registered with the county and then imposing fines after one
or two false calls, but what if it's not the homeowners fault? What if a
faulty contact or motion detector is the culprit and has faulted out a call
several times in just an hour?
It is a tough question to answer since so many factors and parties come
together, but there are several steps and solutions that can be taken to
work together to reduce false alarms. Many alarm companies are now
taking part in false alarm reduction protocols. Monitornics for example
uses a proprietary panel with a 3 second delay before dialing the central
station after an event has triggered an alarm signal.. While this does have a
mild draw back during an actual break-in when seconds count, it does greatly
assist in false alarm reduction.
Alarm installing dealers can play a part in reducing false alarm calls by
by training customers better on system usage, ensuring that equipment
is installed more securely such as using clear glue gel to adhere contacts,
and by reminding customers the importance of having a good contact list
and answering their phones when the alarm company calls.
Consumers too play a large part in reducing false alarms. Consumers
need to make sure that anyone with access to the alarm system is aware
of how it works. Consumers can also add security features such as text
alerts and by using advanced cellular options such as Total Connect and
Alarm.com. Both advanced cellular services allow consumers to arm and
disarm their alarm from any PC, Smartphone, or Tablet through an personal
IP address. Making sure they have a list of good contacts to reach them
during an alarm call would help greatly. One of the main reasons that they
police are called to the home is that the monitoring station couldn't reach
anyone to confirm if they should dispatch. Without confirmation it is the
central stations duties to dispatch. During true emergencies it is imperative
to have the police at the location and all alarm calls are taken seriously for
By working together, alarm companies, central stations, consumers and
local police agencies can reduce false alarms saving valuable time, man
force and money. By doing so true emergencies will be given the priority