Crying wolf is becoming an epidemic in the home security world. There are an estimated 36 million home security systems in this country with over 90 percent of the alarm activations that trigger a police response being false alarms.These false alarms are usually caused by user error, pet movement, and poorly maintained equipment. False alarms waste about $2 billion in police resources each year and lengthens the time it takes for emergency personnel to respond to actual emergencies.
More than 3,000 municipalities now charge a false-alarm fine. For a first time offense the fee is usually waved but after that the fines start at $25 to $35 but multiply quickly for future offenses.
The following are some tips to help reduce the risk of a false-alarm.
1. Train everyone that has access to your home with the correct code words and who to call.
2. Test the system monthly. Check batteries annually.
3. Keep all motion detectors clear of spider webs and make sure the air drafts don't move curtains, decorations or plants.
4. Alert the alarm company when you are out of town, remodeling, have a new pet or change your contact information.
5. Keep equipment in good repair. New technologies are designed to reduce the risk of false alarms.
6. Work with a reputable and reliable security company and when first installing find out what your financial responsibility is for false alarms.
By following these six tips, home security users can be a part of the solution rather than than the problem. With so many false alarms occurring each year, these steps will save home security users money and keep police and emergency officials from wasting resources.