Consumer error is the number one cause of false dispatches and false alarms. A false dispatch occurs when an alarm system is set off, police are called, and there is no intruder or emergency situation. A false alarm wastes valuable time and money, both yours and that of the police, and may jeopardize the ability for first responders to attend emergencies. Here are some tips to help prevent false alarms:
• Ensure that all doors and windows are locked when leaving your premise.
• Correct all drafts that may cause plants and curtains to move, which can trigger an alarm.
• Insist that the keypad is easily accessible from the exit point and that the arming delay is set for a reasonable period.
With your system:
• Insist that the installing company thoroughly trains you on your system.
• Be sure you understand how to operate it before the technician leaves.
• If you have questions refer to your owner's manual or contact your alarm company.
• Replace the back-up battery every three to five years.
• Insist that the system has a simple method for testing that will not result in a false dispatch. Test it monthly.
• Insist that your system has a cancel signal that an authorized person can use to tell the monitoring company not to send the police.
• Insist on a service call as soon as possible after any unexplained alarms.
• Request annual maintenance checks by the alarm company.
• After any household changes (such as remodeling work or addition of new pets) contact your alarm company to ensure these changes do not affect the system.
• Ask that your monitoring station uses Enhanced Call Verification.
• Ensure that all key holders, caretakers, and other users, such as staff, are trained in the proper use of the system.
• Never provide a key to someone who is not familiar with the system