How to Keep False Alarms to a Minimum

An occasional false alarm is a fact of life in the security business, and one that everybody can understand. When false alarms become a matter of routine, though, it's time to take action. Remember that in most communities, repeated false alarms can trigger fines from police and fire departments. Fortunately, there are a number of measures you can take to keep false alarms to a minimum.

First, be sure that the adult members of your family (or your designated employees, if you're protecting a business) are trained in the use of the security system. At least once a year, get them all together, to review procedures.

In addition, make sure that the people responsible for reporting false alarms to your monitoring station know both the telephone number to call and the code or password used to verify a false alarm. For homes, this probably includes every adult family member. For businesses, it means at least one person for each shift that employees are working.

To ensure that your security system is working properly and to reinforce the procedures for reporting false alarms, test your security system once a month by triggering it yourself. That way, when an actual false alarm is triggered, you'll be prepared to report it in the allotted time and prevent emergency personnel from being dispatched by mistake. Be sure to notify your security company before you test the system.

Finally, if it appears that your system is generating false alarms because of a mechanical malfunction, call your security company. They can review the entre system and correct any problems they might find.