This post was originally published on May 8, 2020 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Life happens, and unfortunately, so do false alarms. They can be triggered based on several things, but often false alarms are due to user error. Unlike other security companies, ADS Security does not charge false alarm fees, but it’s still important to try to reduce the number of false alarm occurrences so first responders aren’t overwhelmed. Here are 7 common causes of false alarms and how to prevent them.
1 – Cause: Failure to enter security code on time.
How to prevent this: When having your alarm system installed, make sure the keypad is placed near the entry point so you can disarm your system within 10-30 seconds of walking through the door.
2 – Cause: Pets or objects that set off motion sensors.
What can set off a motion detector? Moveable objects such as balloons, curtains, decorations, and pets can set off motion detectors.
How to prevent this: Consider positioning motion sensors above waist level so pets can move around freely, and away from curtains and other items that may move or drift. You might also choose a sensor with “pet immunity” that can be set to ignore motion from pets.
3 – Cause: Unsecured doors and windows.
This may seem like a no brainer but knowing that everything is locked before going to bed or before leaving the house ensures that a gust of wind won’t cause a window or door to become ajar.
How to prevent this: Properly secure doors and windows tightly and arm your system daily so you’ll get into the routine. Repetition will help you get into this habit.
4 – Cause: Forgotten passcodes.
How to prevent this: If you have an alarm system, commit your keypad code to memory. If your memory isn’t the best, write it down and store it somewhere safe.
Pro tip: Have our home security app ready to launch on your smartphone. It’s an easy way to disarm your system before you enter the house or for when you can’t get to the keypad in time (hands full of groceries, kids running around, or a happy pet greeting you at the door). You can also activate geo-services in the app and have the system disarm as you reach your home.
5 – Cause: Overly-sensitive glass break detector.
Glass break detectors not only trip the alarm in the case of glass breaking, they also trip with other loud noises like a door being kicked in. However, dogs barking, furniture falling over or cats knocking things off of counters have also been known to trip the sensor.
How to prevent this: Make sure you speak with your security technician about the sensitivity of your glass break detectors and what has the possibility of setting them off. Your ADS Security technician can also adjust the sensitivity on some models.
6 – Guests unfamiliar with your system.
You know about your security system because you use it (hopefully) every day. But when guests visit for the weekend or when friends come over, be sure to let them know about your system, too.
How to prevent this: Train your guests on how to arm and disarm the system so they aren’t fumbling with the code while the system is counting down or the siren is going off. Keeping everyone in the house aware of your security system helps prevent false alarms from happening.
7 – Cause: Storms and other weather events.
Sometimes weather events such as hurricanes, tornadoes or strong winds can set off an alarm by tripping a motion detector, setting off a glass break detector, or blowing open a door.
How to prevent this: Stay up to date on severe weather in your area and keep a close eye on your security system during storms. Again, properly secure doors, windows, curtains, etc. so they don’t accidentally blow open.
Are you interested in protecting your home or transferring your services over to ADS Security to make your space safer? You can build a security system that fits best with your needs. Our technicians will make sure to design the system so your risk of false alarms is low.