The event of a security system's alarm being inadvertently activated, or a false alarm being triggered, is a growing issue in communities throughout the nation that extends far beyond inconvenience. A professionally installed security system is designed to provide its users protection from loss of property, physical damage and even personal injury. However, when local authorities are constantly dispatched in response to false alarms, this not only results in losses of both taxpayer-funded work time and money, but also cultivates a habit of hesitation among law enforcement officials when a real alarm signal is received. In the event of a true emergency, the impact that the high volume of false alarms can have on the appropriate and timely response from law enforcement, as well as on the peace of mind and well-being of a community, has become increasingly problematic.
As a result, to combat the high volume of unnecessary false alarms and in an effort to raise awareness of the wasted law enforcement resources, many cities and states across the United States have begun implementing two different types of false alarm prevention programs.
1. False Alarm Fines: A penalty is issued to users with repeated false alarm responses to a specific property over a period of time. Beyond a fine, this can even lead to placement on a "No Response" list by law enforcement.
2. Verified Response or Enhanced Call Verification: New laws now being enforced by many cities and states require that an alarm call first be verified, either by audio or video, or in some cases, multiple calls to the end user, before law enforcement is dispatched.
Sonitrol has compiled some simple steps to ensure the proper operation and efficiency of an electronic security system. Making sure the security system is used properly and the users are properly trained are the easiest and most essential actions to reducing false alarms. By following these basic procedures, false alarms can be greatly reduced or even eliminated from homes and business:
1. Make sure the security system provider's central monitoring station has current contact information so that the correct and timely notifications can be made.
2. If the security system has motion sensors, keep pets out of the area of protection to prevent unintentional activation of the system.
3. Make sure that the perimeter security of the protected facility is maintained. Repair all loose fitting doors and overhead doors that do not seal properly. Be sure all door and windows are locked when the facility is closed.
4. Be sure that all users are trained on how to arm and disarm the system, as well as how to call and cancel an unintentional alarm. This includes neighbors who have keys to a house while the user is on vacation.
5. Make sure that exit and entry delay times allow enough time to exit the premises when arming the system and enough time to disarm upon entry.
6. Keep the system properly maintained. Obsolete or malfunctioning equipment will add to the false alarm problem.
7. Strongly consider upgrading to newer technology, specifically to a system that offers a verified solution, if the current system is older. Just like PCs and mobile devices, technology in security systems is constantly changing for the better.
8. Make sure that the stand-by batteries are properly charged. If the stand-by batteries, designed to run a security system in the event of a power failure, are not functioning properly, neither will the security system.
9. Make sure that communication lines (phone line, internet, cellular) are in proper working order. Security systems require communication between the premise and central monitoring station to operate properly.
10. During any renovations, please contact the security provider so that they may assist in the modifications of the security system to avoid any problems associated with construction.
Published with permission from RISMedia.