Alarm systems are vital in every emergency situation. Thus, the need to have an effective alarm system equipment goes beyond its reliability but also in its accuracy. People who also maintain these alarm systems should have the required knowledge and presence of mind to prevent false alarms to happen whenever such incidents occur.
Whether you are at home, in a fire department, or in a business establishment, having false alarms do not just carry a negative impact on people and customers. Surveillance cameras in the office or security alarm system at home should always be reliable. If not, they could literally waste time, money, and resources.
According to the Country Fire Authority (CFA), false alarms create a big impact to the community. If a home alarm system gave off an emergency alarm, the bureau responds immediately under emergency leading to a larger possibility of having injured firefighters and putting ordinary people’s lives in danger. Their resources are also wasted because of the time and money spent over a false alarm. Service charges and maintenance of fire equipments is also something that requires close attention.
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Decoding False Alarms
The University of Cincinnati reported that over 98% of all alarms are false, and of those over 90% are due to user error. Having known this, it is important that people from the household, especially the parents or the head of every household, should know how to properly operate alarm systems to prevent the errors that occur. These alarms should not also be within reach of children as they most probably exude curiosity even though they have no knowledge of the alarms usage and may input incorrect keypad codes. As such, even before an emergency occurs, the need to train your children on how to use alarms effectively is also important. Even babysitters, guardians, visitors, and relatives must be well-trained and should be familiarized with alarm signs among other devices. Likewise, employees, like security guards and the maintenance team in a business establishment should be trained on how to use devices such as the surveillance camera systems against possible burglary.
Moreover, failure to secure the lock of doors and windows and even simply re-entering a house with an activated alarm system could cause false alarms. Before turning the alarm on, make sure to secure the doors, surveillance equipments, and even the position of motion detectors in the house. If motion detectors are situated near decorations, hanging plants, blinds, and other moving objects, a false alarm may also occur. Pets that roam around the house like dogs and cats may also trigger a false alarm as they play and wander around the house through windows and doors. Even large insects such as butterflies, dragonflies, and spiders may cause of false alarms if they try to enter windows and doors. In short, every moving object capable of entering a house protected by motion detectors could trigger a false alarm.
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One cannot prevent the acts of nature. This also causes an accidental activation of alarm systems which no one can predict. However, this can be prevented with proper measures before a weather disturbance occur. Watch the news and see if there is an impending storm in your area. Secure all alarms and make sure to disarm them if strong winds bang doors and windows, and if foreign objects have entered the house due to hurricanes. Do not let a false alarm cause more trouble under a bad weather.
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Prevention for Less Hassle and Inconvenience
One has to know the basics first before putting alarm systems in their vicinity. Since you have to consider your neighbors, you should know how to operate and use these alarms so as not to disturb them.
Have all users practice the cancellation of an accidental alarm. By this, they no longer have to call the monitoring system if such an incident occurs. But first, call the monitoring station ahead of time and inform them that a dry run will be conducted. This will enable the police and the fire department avoid confusion if testing is ongoing. If an alarm activates due to accidental reasons, one should determine if there is really a fire or burglary. If there is an actual reason to be alarmed, use the panic feature of the alarm system immediately so authorities may be informed of the legitimacy of the report and they could act in accordance abruptly.
Panic will also lead you to more trouble. Keep calm and carefully press your keypad code when you need to disarm the system.
Remember that any information about your alarm system should always be known by the monitoring system, even the accidental activation of your alarm. Also, inform them that you have already reset the system to avoid disturbance and confusion.
The guardianalarm.com suggested that if one needs to re-enter the home or the establishment after alarming the system and do not enter directly without disarming it. Be patient enough to disarm and reset it again. “Don’t rely on the entry or exit delay time to give you enough time to get in and out. Have the monitoring station adjust the entry or exit delay time if you don’t have enough time when entering or leaving the premises,” it states.
Careful and meticulous entering of the last number of code should be observed as there are cases when the incorrect last coded was entered which then resulted to a panic signal from the user.
Regular checking of alarm systems, with the information of the monitoring system, and regularly changing the batteries is important for wireless devices for burglary prevention is vital in the maintenance of the system’s effectivity. If possible, when leaving a house for a long time or in just a few hours without someone to take over the vicinity, do not let your dogs roam around. Put them in their houses to avoid activating a possible false alarm.
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Make sure that there are no plants, insects, ceiling fans, and other loose and unsteady objects that might disturb the motion sensor areas in your establishment. Doors and windows should be latched and locked securely when going outside. Check if doors have defects or if windows are broken. If pets pass by these, it might cause false alarm as it creates disturbing sound and action.
Prevention will always result to lesser danger and risk when it comes to security and safety. Do not let security measures ironically trigger danger and false emergencies not only to your family and business’ entity but also to the people around you. Proper prevention and usage is the key to maintain an alarm system that is truly beneficial to all.