The benefits of a security system are well-documented and include police protection, video surveillance, and peace of mind. However, while an alarm can be lifesaving in the event of a break-in, a false alarm is a disaster. It’s important to understand how to properly use your security system and prevent a false alarm from occurring. Otherwise, you could incur hundreds of dollars of fees and waste the valuable time of law enforcement officers.
Here are five simple strategies for preventing a false alarm:
Know the code
Although this may seem obvious, a surprising number of false alarms are due to the homeowner forgetting the code or failing to inform someone of a code change. When you first install your security system, make a list of everyone who knows the code and update it as needed. This could include family members, babysitters, or a friend who is watching your home for the weekend. Choose a code that is easy to remember, but not easy to guess. Avoid choosing something like the house number.
Keep an eye on pets
Motion-detecting systems in your home or yard are great for security, but pets and animals can set off false alarms. If you use a motion-detection alarm system, you’ll need to keep pets in a secured area where they won’t trigger the alarm. Talk to your security provider for information about pet-friendly product options.
Replace the batteries
Although many home security systems are outfitted with batteries that can last for five years, any system will need a battery replaced eventually. Most alarm systems will let you know when the batteries are weak. Keep a record of when you have last changed the batteries to prevent any unexpected malfunctions.
Report faulty equipment
Although an estimated 70% of false alarms are caused by human error, a system malfunction can occur. If you suspect that the security system may be at fault for a false alarm, contact your provider. A representative will be sent to your home to examine the system for any defects.
A few general rules
Although you may think that running back into your house to grab a forgotten item won’t trigger an armed alarm system, even a short duration will cause the alarm to go off. If you need to go back into your home or office after setting the alarm, take a few moments to disable it as soon as you walk through the door.
Inclement weather, such as electrical storms, hurricanes, strong winds, and tornadoes can also cause a false alarm, although this is rare. As a precaution, take the weather into consideration when using your security system.
The key to successfully using your alarm system is to set and disable it as often as possible. When this becomes routine, you reduce your risk of triggering a false alarm. Always ensure that your security equipment is working properly. For information about the benefits of a security system in your home or office, give our expert team at Sonitrol a call at (843) 258-8226.