According to the U.S. Department of Justice, about 96% of alarm system activations occur when there is no crime or event happening.(Source: https://www.ojp.gov/ncjrs/virtual-library/abstracts/false-alarms-cause-alarm)
At Fluent Home, we are committed to preventing false alarms for our clients. With your help, we can help reduce false alarms, and avoid the fees sometimes associated with them!
False alarms can be inconvenient, scary and expensive. False alarms can also tie up crucial emergency resources.
What are some common causes of false alarms?
Most false alarms can be prevented, saving you money and helping to ensure that emergency services are available for real emergencies within your community. False alarms occur for many reasons. Below are some common triggers.
- Incorrect keypad codes entered.
- Re-entering the house without disarming the alarm system
- Faulty equipment or low batteries
- Forgetting the verbal password
- If you need to cancel a false alarm, connect to the monitoring station by calling teland selecting the false alarm option from the menu to be connected to the monitoring station.
- To help prevent false alarms the monitoring station will mark alarms that get cancelled within 2 minutes as false.
There are two ways to arm your system:
- Arming Away - When leaving your house, you should always arm your system Away to activate the interior zones such as your motion detectors.
- Arming Stay - If you have larger, active pets or pets who climb on the furniture, you should arm your system for Stay so your motion detector does not pick up their activity and cause false alarms. When coming home, the first thing you should do is enter your 4-digit code to Disarm the system. Then make sure to arm the system again, but this time in Stay mode. This provides an added layer of protection for you and your family while you are at home. Stay mode activates exterior doors but lets you move around the home freely without triggering the alarm.
Doors and Windows
Door and Window sensors alarm when the two contacts, one on the door or window and one on the frame, become too far apart, such as when the door or window is opened. False alarms can occur when:
- Doors or windows are not shut securely once the alarm is turned on, and then come open. ;
- Due to remodeling or other changes in the house, the contacts become too far apart or out of alignment.
- One of the contacts falls off or becomes detached.
For help in resolving a problem with a door or window sensor, please refer to the Door and Window Sensor Troubleshooting page.
Motion detectors alarm when motion is detected within their range of vision. Some motion detectors also require heat to be present, such as when detecting a person. False alarms can occur when:
- Party decorations such as balloons and streamers cause motion in the room.
- Pets pass by.
- Drapes moving when air conditioning and/or heating turns on.
- A ceiling fan is turned on within range of the detector.
- Bugs crawl across the motion detector.
For help in resolving a problem with a motion detector, please refer to the Motion Detector Troubleshooting page.
Glass Break Detectors
Glass break detectors alarm when two frequencies of sound are detected—the low frequency “thud” when the glass is initially hit, and the high frequency sound when the glass actually breaks. Some glass break detectors also detect air pressure changes. False alarms can occur when:
- Sounds occur which are in the range of the detectors, such as thunder, fireworks and certain loud music or TV programs.
- A dog barks close to the detector.
- Acts of nature such as strong winds, electrical storms, etc.
For help in resolving a problem with a glass break detector, please refer to the Glass break Detector Troubleshooting page.
Smoke and Heat Detectors
Smoke detectors alarm when smoke particles enter the unit. Heat detectors alarm when either the temperature rises by a set number of degrees over one minute, or when a set temperature has been reached, depending on the type of detector. False alarms can occur when:
- Household smoke from tobacco products, fireplaces or kitchen equipment occurs within the range of the smoke detector.
- The smoke detector becomes dirty with normal household dust.
- Bugs enter the smoke detector.
- The heat detector is located in an area that experiences a high temperature over an extended period, such as an attic or near furnace equipment.
For help in resolving a problem with a smoke or heat detector, please refer to the Smoke and Heat Detector Troubleshooting page.
False Alarm Prevention
Following these tips will help prevent false alarms and keep your home secure:
- Educate individuals who may be alone in your home such as babysitters, relatives, adult children and visitors on how to avoid triggering an alarm and what to do if they accidentally trigger one.
- Ensure that your verbal security passwords and emergency contacts lists are up to date. Please visit our Emergency Contacts page for more information.
- Learn to recognize the signs of a low battery and be prepared ahead of time.
- Be sure you are conducting regular system tests to help ensure that your system is communicating with our 24/7 monitoring centers.
- Inspect door and window contacts periodically to ensure they remain secure and properly aligned.
- Restrain pets from areas where motion and glass break detectors might be accidentally set off, or have the sensors re-positioned.
- Do not install equipment or other hazards in a location that might set off the detector. For example, do not install a ceiling fan within range of a motion detector or a sound speaker next to a glass break detector.
- Periodically clean smoke detectors to remove dust and other particles.
Be sure to test your system regularly to make sure it communicates properly with the 24-hour monitoring center. For help testing or for anything else, please call us.