People sometimes forgo a security system in their home because they don’t want the hassle that comes with setting it off accidentally, especially if they have large pets at home. You don’t want to find yourself slapped with huge fines due to a false alarm which is the main deterrent people are still apprehensive about getting an alarm system for their homes. However, it can be easily avoidable. When you understand what can cause a false alarm, you will be able to reduce false alarms in your home.
Understanding your system
Every system comes with one or more modes. For instance, if your home is absolutely empty, you should set it to “Away” or any similar mode. If you have pets in the house such as a dog, there will be another mode for it such as “Stay” - make sure you ask your alarm provider or installer so you can arm your home appropriately. When you’re using the “Stay” or similar mode, it will allow you to move around inside the home but if any exterior doors are opened, it will activate the alarm.
Make sure that everyone knows how to use the alarm
One of the most common false alarms are caused by family members who freeze up when the alarm goes off and in a panic, forget how to disarm or use it. Therefore, it would be helpful if you run a drill a couple of times so everyone can anticipate what will happen and keep a level head in an event of a false alarm. Teach everyone the 4 digit code and make sure everyone has it memorized - do not write it down anywhere and make sure all your family members know this. You should also make sure they understand all the modes of the alarm. Teach your kids that they must use the “Stay” mode when they are home alone and that they are not allowed to, under any circumstances, open the doors that lead outside. You also want to make sure anyone who comes to your home regularly knows the drill as well, such as babysitters or relatives and close friends.
Keep everything well maintained
Another common cause of false alarms is simply faulty software or low batteries. Again, you should clarify with your alarm provider how often you should replace the batteries. Most alarm systems come with warning signs - you might want to write them down so you know what indicator means what. Make sure you check whatever exposed cables you have. Sometimes raccoons or other wildlife might have a go at it, or sometimes due to the weather conditions, you might find it in need of repair. You also need to make sure that motion detectors or smoke alarms are cleaned regularly.
Other things to bear in mind
Don’t install equipment in less than ideal locations. While your alarm installer should know to avoid this, you can monitor and make sure that they don’t install the motion detector near a ceiling fan or next to something that moves because it might just trip it. Stay sensitive to these things and use common sense when it comes to installation. Also, don’t install glass break detectors near the floor especially if you have dogs or anywhere within reach if you have cats - they might play with it and accidentally cause a malfunction or set it off. You also want to make sure that all the doors and window frames are in perfect condition as sometimes due to the weather or simple wear and tear, things don’t fit as they should and might pop open, causing a false alarm. Lastly, bear in mind that over 50% of false alarms come from burnt food, so you want to avoid that as much as you can.