Your alarm system is designed to alert people to the fact that someone has entered your property, almost certainly without permission, and has trigger the alarm as a consequence. However, what happens if the alarm goes off even though there are no obvious intruders? The reality is that false alarms are a common problem and there are a number of reasons why they occur.
The problem with false alarms
False alarms can be embarrassing, inconvenient and a nuisance. Furthermore, if there are repeated false alarms then your alarm is less likely to be trusted. This is especially the case if your alarm is connected to the police. If an alarm that is connected to the police, is frequently the cause of false alarms, they may not attend if they believe that you alarm system is unreliable.
Alarms should be set up so that they stop after 20 minutes. If they go on for longer the sound of your alarm may be considered to be ‘noise nuisance’. If a key holder for your property cannot be found, a court order can be obtained to allow access to the property to turn the alarm off, which the property owner is required to pay for.
So, it is essential that false alarms are kept to a minimum, or, more preferably, eliminated all together.
Reasons for false alarms
Human error – human error is an common cause of false alarms. The more people who have responsibility for operating an alarm system, the more chance there is of human error causing a false alarm. The solution is minimise the number of people who interact with the system and to ensure that those who do understand fully how it operates.
Equipment failure faults – faulty components in the alarm system, the alarm system failing all together or being triggered inappropriately can trigger false alarms. To minimise equipment failure, ensure that your alarm system has been purchased from a reliable and respected alarm installation company and that it is maintained regularly;
Poorly maintained equipment – equipment failure can occur when the equipment is not maintained in accordance with the manufacturers instructions. Alarm systems must be maintained regularly and any damage must be remedied as quickly as possible;
Incorrectly installed equipment – incorrectly installed alarm systems can be a another cause of system failure and false alarms. Ensure that your system is installed by a competent an experienced alarm installation company to minimise the risk of incorrect installation;
Unstable mains supply – interruptions in the mains supply can often lead to false alarms. However, it is not the interruption in the mains supply that triggers the alarm. Alarms have a backup battery that will power the alarm system when there is no mains supply. However, if there is an interruption to the mains supply and the battery is empty, then the alarm will be set off;
Unlocked doors or windows – doors and windows have contacts installed which are triggered if the contacts are separated. Often an example of human error, doors and windows can be left unlocked in error and the presence of wind, vibrations or even animals can cause the alarm to be triggered;
Pets, pests and insects – the presence of pets, pests and insects inside the premises can trigger alarm sensors. Pet friendly sensors are available, however if you believe there is a risk that your alarm system could be triggered by pests or insects it is recommended that you seek advice from a pest removal specialist;