Practical guide to reducing false alarms

Did you know that around 97 percent of house alarm signals received by your security company are false alarms?
False alarms are annoying to neighbours and home owners alike. They take up the valuable time of control centre staff and armed response officers, who could rather be attending to crime scenes where people are facing genuine emergencies.

1. Switch on outdoor beams when at home
Outdoor beams are a prime suspect when it comes to false alarm signals, that result in armed response vehicles being unnecessarily despatched to a property. The main purpose of outdoor beams is to provide an early warning system to protect you and your family from personal danger of intruders. It’s preferable to only switch them on when you are at home.

2. Select pet friendly outdoor beams
Although they are not completely foolproof, pet friendly beams go some way toward reducing the number of false home and business alarm signals set off by dogs, cats and large birds.

3. Keep perimeter fences clear
Ensure that your electric fence or any external perimeter security devices, such as point to point beams mounted on walls, are always clear of any encroaching bushes and branches. These can set off your alarm system on a windy day.

4. Teach everyone how to use the security system
Avoid accidental false alarms by ensuring that all staff and family members know how to operate the alarm system. Also make sure they know where the panic buttons are located in the building.

5. Alert your security company before conducting an alarm system test
Some consumers think it’s a clever idea to surprise test their security company’s services by pressing a panic button. This results in an armed response officer responding unnecessarily to your “emergency”. Always let your security company know before you test your home alarm system. An unnecessary response could impact response times to a real emergency in your neighbourhood.

6. Fix your faulty alarm system
If your home security system repeatedly sets off false alarms, it’s time to get your security company’s technical division to service and repair your alarm system. Repeated false alarms also have the potential to make you complacent, which can impact negatively on your own reaction in a real emergency.

If you have any questions or queries about preventing false alarms, contact our technical department that focuses on signal management and false alarms on 011 278 6000 or 0861 692 195.