Imagine coming home to a $200 fine because your alarm went off and alerted the Police, all because the lighting changed in your house…
No thank you!
Shockingly, Freakonomics reported that over 94% of traditional alarm calls turned out to be false alarms. This means not only do false alarms cost a fortune but they also cause additional stress and inconvenience to both homeowners and law enforcers (not to mention your neighbours).
What causes false alarms?
In order to address how to avoid false alarms, we need to tackle the root of the problem.
Here are the most common causes of false alarms:
- User error – entering an incorrect security code
- House visitors or guests arriving unexpectedly
- Wandering pets
- Open windows and doors
- Motion caused by air-conditioners, heaters and vents
- Lack of maintenance
What you can do to avoid false alarms
Now that you know the underlying causes of false alarms, here are some things you can do to minimise the risk of them:
Invest in a pet friendly alarm
If you’re a pet owner, you know just how much your furry friend loves roaming around the house. However, their adventures are interrupted by the piercing sound of your alarm. Not only do false alarms leave your pet distressed, but they also cost you a fortune.
To counter this, you can switch up your traditional motion sensors with pet friendly or pet immune sensors. These sensors disregard motion caused by animals up to a certain weight so you can say goodbye to pet-induced false alarms!
Memorise your codes
70% of false alarms can be attributed to user error, meaning the security code was either entered incorrectly or the system was being used by someone who wasn’t properly trained to use it.
In order to avoid false alarms, be sure to use a security code that everyone in the household can easily memorise and that all keypads are kept out of reach of children.
Alert visitors and guests
WEE-OH WEE-OH WEE-OH!
Burglar alarms can scare off burglars, but they can also scare off your house guests and visitors. Prior to their arrival, let them know that your system is armed so you don’t run into any awkward situations.
If you have guests staying with you for an extended period of time or regular babysitters, gardeners or cleaners, make sure they have all memorised the security code and know how to properly arm and disarm the system.
Secure all windows and doors
Sometimes strong winds, rain and insects can produce enough movement to set off a false alarm. That’s why securing windows and doors is not only crucial to home security, but also crucial to avoiding false alarms.
Avoid pointing sensors at air-conditioners, heaters and vents
Like mother nature, air-conditioners, heaters and vents can produce enough air movement to trigger false alarms. If you have motion sensors in that area, make sure they’re not pointed directly at the source.
Also, ensure curtains, balloons, plants and other light weight objects are kept clear of motion sensors.
Replace your batteries and check your system regularly
While your alarm system will warn you once batteries are weak, make sure you replace your batteries regularly as dead batteries can lead to false alarms.
Lack of maintenance can also trigger false alarms so check your system every few weeks. If you notice any faults, report it to your home security company immediately.
Invest in a camera-based alarm
Rather than forgoing motion sensors, you can invest in a camera-based alarm like Cammy that uses cameras as sensors. This means you can check the footage to identify a false alarm before it occurs.
Cammy is a DIY system that lets you watch over your home, family, pets and possessions on your smartphone. If a person is detected, an alert is sent to your smartphone and you can choose to disarm the system if you recognise the person or switch to Live View to see what’s happening in real time if you’re unsure. You can also speak through the camera with 2-way audio to confirm the identity of the person detected. No false alarms guaranteed!
By applying these simple tips on how to avoid false alarms, not only can you avoid the stress and annoyance that comes with them, but you can also save valuable Police resources and save yourself some hard earned cash!
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