Five easy ways you can avoid false burglar alarms

 burglar alarms

Here’s a fact that drives home security companies and first responders crazy: According to data from the Urban Institute, between 90 and 99 percent of alarm calls end up being false alarms. 

That’s a massive waste of resources, and a huge annoyance for everyone. 

Sometimes, a false alarm can’t be avoided. It could be an out-of-town guest who doesn’t know how to use the system, or a first-time housekeeper who enters the home but doesn’t know the alarm code.

But more often that not, it’s easy to avoid false alarms for your home security system, especially if you have professional alarm monitoring. All it takes a little effort and some common sense.

Here are five easy ways to reduce or eliminate false alarms – along with potential fines and penalties that often are imposed by local authorities for repeat offenders.

Purchase from a reputable home security company

Your protection is only as good as your system. Equipment failure is one of the most common causes of false alarms. It can be as simple – and as frustrating – as cheaply made equipment that doesn’t function correctly.

When you shop for a system, stick to brands and security companies that you know and trust. Ask questions about the equipment you’re buying; anything made by a well-known manufacturer is likely to perform well during an emergency, and help avoid false alarms. Anything by an unknown brand … not so much.

Make sure your home security system is installed correctly

Self-installation of a top-rated home security system is usually simple. You don’t have to be a techie to protect your home with a system that’s easy to install and easy to use.

But DIY aficionados should be sure to follow installation instructions to the letter. Many false alarms are caused by equipment that hasn’t been installed properly – for example, a motion detector that sits too close to blinds that flutter when they get a breeze from a ceiling fan.

The good news is, most wireless home security systems allow you to easily relocate a device that’s triggering false alarms. But proper installation can help avoid the issue from the beginning.

“That’s why homeowners often choose professional installation instead of installing a home security system on their own,” said Chris Johnson, Chief Strategy Officer at Brinks Home Security, one of the nation’s leading home security providers. “DIY installation has its advantages, but a well-trained professional understands the best placement for sensors, detectors, and cameras.”

Everyone should know how it works

The majority of false alarms are caused by user error. The first step in avoiding that pitfall is to make sure that family members understand:

  • How to correctly arm and disarm the system, whether it’s through the panel or through the system’s mobile app.
  • How to use the app to declare or confirm a false alarm and eliminate the need for response.
  • How to quickly cancel an alarm, including any keycodes and passwords that may be necessary.

If you’ve got professional alarm system monitoring, disarm the system and wait for the alarm response center to contact you. Knowing the correct password will help them confirm a false alarm. 

Deal directly with your alarm monitoring center; don’t try to contact 911 or anyone else. The best home security alarm monitoring companies will know exactly what to do.

Pet-proof your home security system

With a traditional motion detector, a sensor can be tripped when your pet enters the coverage area, causing a false alarm. Fortunately, the top-rated home security companies all offer motion detectors that are pet-immune. 

But remember that size matters: Make sure that any motion detector can adequately ignore the specific size of your pet. Different detectors have different size tolerances, whether it’s 40 lbs. or 80 lbs. Select the right motion detector for your pet, and check off another box in your false-alarm prevention list.

Keep your system in good shape

If you’re savvy enough to be a long-time believer in home security systems, you probably know that even the best equipment eventually wears out. If an old sensor turns out to be a problem, don’t wait to replace it. The new equipment is also likely to be more advanced and versatile.

With that in mind, here are three more tips:

  • Keep your equipment – as well as the area around it – clean and dust-free.
  • Think about any potential objects that might trigger your alarm, such as birthday streamers or Valentine’s Day balloons.
  • Test your system at least once a month. This isn’t so much about false alarms as it is about making sure your system is giving you the best protection.

Don’t quit using your home security system

When you’re faced with a sudden rash of false alarms, it’s tempting to just stop using your system entirely rather than troubleshooting to figure out the problem.

That’s a mistake. It’s like totally blacking out a dirty window instead of taking a few minutes to give it a good cleaning. That defeats the purpose of having the window.

“Not arming your system isn’t an effective way to eliminate false alarms,” said Johnson, of Brinks Home Security. “We can’t protect a home unless the equipment is working correctly and the system is allowed to do its job.”

If you have trouble locating the source of the false alarms, he added, enlist the help of a home security professional. They have experience that allows them to pinpoint the problem, and they can suggest other ways to optimize your system. 

“It’s always important to reduce or eliminate false alarms,” Johnson said. “But that’s just part of an effective home security strategy. When you have a quality system that’s well maintained, and everybody knows how to use it correctly, it provides the best protection for your home and family.”

 

Bio:

Robert Ogle has been a writer and editor for more than 20 years, with extensive experience as a journalist and freelance contributor. Robert focuses on home security, smart-home technology trends, and the impact of disruptive innovation on U.S. industries. He currently serves as Senior Copywriter at Brinks Home Security, a leading home security systems company. Connect with him on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/robertogle/.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Watch Out For These Home Security Threats

Our home lives are often complicated and stressful enough without anything going wrong. When you throw malicious criminals into the mix, you can end up in situations that are almost too much to bear! Although it’s not a pleasant thought, there are a lot of security threats to your home which you need to be aware of. Here are three big ones.

home security

First of all, moving scams. Even when everything goes great, moving is an extremely stressful experience. When there’s a devious scammer involved though, the whole process becomes even more frustrating! The moving industry has been a big target for scammers over the years, possibly because you don’t need to hire moving companies all that often. One of the biggest red flags to look out for is a blasé home inspector. In one common scam, an inspector will whip around the house quickly, barely noting down the items you want to take. Then, the scammers use this ambiguity to up the price after the job is done!

Another big threat to look out for is burglary. Like most people, you might have gone through life assuming that this would never happen to you. Your home should be the one sure place where you can relax and feel safe. Unfortunately though, burglaries can and do happen. If you’ve been burgled, then have a reputable locksmith change the locks on your home. Click here for one example of this. Afterwards, there are a few things you can do to lower your chances of this happening again. Hide all the valuables in your home if they’re visible from the outside. You may also want to try what some people call “strategic landscaping”. This involves planting rose bushes and other thorny plants underneath windows which burglars might try to use. Buying a large, indoor dog and making its presence visible is another common tactic. Be careful with this one though. Big dogs will be great at attacking an intruder, but may be equally dangerous to your children.

Finally, cowboy builders. Sadly, this is one of the most common scams out there today, although more efforts are being made to clamp down on them. Obviously, there’s a lot of money involved in any large home construction project, so make sure you’re not taken for a ride! The first thing to look out for should be incredibly low rates. This is one of the main tactics cowboys use to lure in their victims. Once you’re liaising with them, many of them will refuse to give you any references. Even if they do, they may be overly eager to get the work started straight away. This is so they can do a shoddy or unsafe job, and move onto the next victim before you catch on! Some of them might claim to be a part of a trade association, but make sure you investigate this before taking it as truth!

There you have three of the most common domestic threats you could be a victim to. Hopefully, you’ll never even be targeted by these criminals. If you are though, being vigilant will certainly pay off!

 

Photo by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35992013

5 Incredibly Important Processes to Make Your Home Safe and Secure

It’s extremely important to make sure you keep the home safe and secure. There are plenty of processes that will help you do this. Have a look at this list and try to carry out as many of these as you can. You can’t mess about when it comes to the safety and security of your home.

 

  1. Check the Roof

Your roof is the most important part of the entire structure. It shields the inside from the elements. And it also does a pretty good job of security. Because it’s so vital you need to check it on a regular basis. It might just need some basic touch-ups. But you may need to get a roofing company out to fix the problems. You shouldn’t ignore roofing issues because they’ll only get worse. Make sure you get any issues looked at as soon as possible. This will help keep the roof, and home, safe and secure.

 

  1. Upgrade the Intruder Alarm

The most effective form of defence for your home is the intruder alarm. This is the natural deterrent for criminals. So you need to make sure you have a great system. Think about upgrading to the latest state-of-the-art model. Have a look at what models and options are available and make an informed decision. When it comes to setting an alarm code you need to be sensible too. Make sure you don’t make the code something really obvious. But it still has to be memorable for you.

 

  1. Get Extra Locks Fitted

Safety and security are vital, but these days thieves are getting smarter. Because of this you need to take extra security measures. Consider adding extra locks to your home. Call out a locksmith and ask them what they would recommend. You need to think about adding a deadbolt lock to the front door. This provides extra protection alongside your other locks. It’s also worth thinking about the back door as well.

  1. Buy a Dog

One of the best methods of security for homeowners is a dog. If you’re elderly, this might be very appealing to you. Dogs are excellent because they are companions too. A dog has personality and character. It will develop a relationship with the family, and the home. Because of this it’s going to be protective towards the property. This means you can rely on the dog to alert you of anything untoward. They will help keep intruders and potential criminals away from the home.

 

  1. Be Quick With Repairs

If you want to prevent security risks, it’s best to address problems right away. This means when you have issues you fix them immediately. So, if a window gets jammed, this needs to be repaired right away. If a lock breaks, it should take priority for you. You have to make sure you don’t leave these problems. If you do, they’re going to leave the property vulnerable to crime or damage.

 

Making your home safe and secure is absolutely imperative. You have the safety of your family to think about. The trouble is your home is at risk from so many things these days. So you need to come up with ways that will help you keep it more secure. Consider the best approaches to take with your home.

 

image source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/63/Locksmith-11211.jpg