Reducing False Alarms from Your Home Security System

Posted on 05/01/2018

By Stan Rosenzweig

Drive around various Cottonwood Heights neighborhoods and you'll notice more and more home security alarm signs on lawns as we appear to be taking heed of Neighborhood Watch training and good common sense. One unintended consequence of greater electronic security, however, is an increased incidence of false alarms, which gets worse as we move from winter into summer.

Many things help create this rise in alarm calls, such as family and other visitors who are unfamiliar with the use your alarm system, as well as children on summer recess who are around more. Not maintaining your system and/or weak batteries can cause alarm problems, too.

You can help reduce false alarms and the need to dispatch officers unnecessarily by ensuring those with your house key are trained both in how to work the alarm and how to cancel the alarm (with a password and phone number to your alarm monitoring company). Also, train school-age children on using the alarm correctly.

Note, too, that a breeze from open windows could move window treatments and activate motion sensors, and wind can blow open unlocked doors, tripping alarms. So, lock your doors and windows when you leave.

Ask your monitoring company to use Enhanced Call Verification (ECV), which requires making two calls to a responsible party prior to requesting law enforcement dispatch, and, if you get a new pet, advise your alarm company so they are less suspicious of movement.

Public safety resources are limited. By working together, let's reduce the number of false alarms so that our police are more available when real calls occur.