Avoiding False Alarms

Ralph Winn

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It's a proven fact that home security system users have taken a great step in detecting intrusion and the early warning of fire.

According to a report by the office of Community Oriented Policing Service, in 1998 police responded to approximately 38 million alarm activations. False alarms account for 10-25 percent of all police calls.

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Every year, Chicago police respond to more than 300,000 burglar alarms, 98 percent of them are false alarms, which translate to the equivalent of 195 full time police officers. When you have a home security system installed, you will need to know how the system will work. Arming and disarming the system should be easy to learn and these instructions must be passed on to ALL persons who have a key to your home ─ children, grandparents, neighbors, and don't forget the cleaning help and delivery staff.

Your home security system should be designed and installed to be trouble free for your specific daily routine. It will provide you easy protection for your home and loved ones or your business. However, improper use can result in false alarms. Summoning the police or fire department when no real emergency exists is called a “false alarm".

Some simple steps must be taken to make sure that your system works false alarm free:

Make sure all protected doors and windows are closed and locked.

Update your home security equipment regularly

Do not block the sensing path of any detection devices.

Leave your home/business promptly after “arming" your system and disarm your system promptly when entering.

If you make an error on entering your keypad code, wait several seconds before trying again.

Keeps your home security monitoring company up to date on changes to your key holders who would respond with the authorities in your absence?

Use home security system monitoring company decals on doors and/or windows.

Have your home security system periodically tested.

Make sure your Home security system monitoring company has up to date phone numbers for verifying burglar alarm signals.

And finally, if you accidentally trip your home security system, follow your monitoring company's specific procedures for canceling the dispatch.

In an attempt to curb false alarms, most communities have instituted ordinances with fines for repeat offenders. The tax dollars spent needlessly on responding to false alarms is a growing concern for many communities.

Most security companies today are implementing the use of new technology to prevent false alarms and they are using enhanced call verification to make sure that a burglary signal is valid.

It’s a FACT … false alarms rob communities of valuable appropriate police response. If you have any doubt about the use of your system, contact your home security system monitoring company.

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