A false alarm is most commonly defined by the police departments as any alarm signal which elicits a response where no actual emergency exists. The key word is response. If a response by police does not occur, that is if the alarm is canceled before they are called or actually arrive, no report is written and no citation is given.
This is important because this is the primary opportunity for alarm users to prevent costly fines from alarm signals caused in error.
What cause false alarms?
Up to 98% of all alarm signals are false. Of that figure, 76% are caused by user error. That is, accidents in setting the system improperly or not properly securing the building prior to setting the system.
Equipment malfunction (alarm) accounts for approximately 10% of the total false alarms, and weather, phone line problems account for the remaining 14% of all false alarms.
What can be done to prevent false alarms?
False Alarm Prevention Checklist
1. Know your system and password!
2. Make sure all doors and windows are locked.
3. With motion or glass break detectors, make sure that windows are secured. A breeze can move curtains and plants, causing motion sensors to trigger. A glass break detector may react to outside noise.
4. Before setting your alarm system make sure family pets are in a "safe" area where they will not disturb motion sensors.
5. Do not allow any moving items to remain in an area where a motion sensor is located. Loose banners, fans and balloons cause false alarms.
6. Everyone with a key to your property should know how to operate the system and have a password.
No Password = Police Dispatch
7. Call your alarm company before tenting fumigation or remodeling your home to get advice on how to prevent false alarms from smoke detectors caused by fumes or dust.
8. Investigate all unexplained alarms. Have your system serviced on a regular basis.
9. Make sure that your emergency contact list is current and accurate.
False Alarm Prevention Checklist provided by the Alarm Association of Florida