False Alarms - How to Prevent Them?

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2013.05.10

Dear Customer,

As a fire alarm system owner, your role is the most crucial in managing the problem of false alarms, which is one of the most frequent and costly problem. For example, the cost of false alarms in the UK is around £1 billion a year.

Teletek Electronics JSC offers you a series of questions that outline this issue in order to help you understand what false alarms are and how you can prevent them. Besides, you can always trust our Voive Guide keypads for false alarm prevention - LED63 VG and LCD63 VG.

What is a false alarm?

  • A false alarm is an alarm that triggers an emergency response when no emergency has occurred.

Why are false alarms a problem?

  • False alarms reduce the effectiveness of security systems. If alarms are seen as unreliable indicators of threats, they may potentially be ignored.
  • False alarms exhaust the resources of police, fire and emergency personnel and keep them from responding to actual emergencies.
  • False alarms increase costs for taxpayers, security service providers and users, requiring additional personnel to respond to alarms.
  • False alarms can carry fines. In many cities and towns, the owners of systems that trigger false alarms can be fined for each occurrence.
  • False alarms can lead to denial of service. In some cities and towns, police, fire and emergency personnel are instructed to ignore the alarms of users whose systems have set off false alarms in the past.

What causes false alarms?

  • Family members or friends who have not been properly trained in its use.
  • Poor maintenance.
  • Users who forgot the alarm code.
  • Cleaning staff, service people, babysitters, etc.
  • Poor installation.
  • Carelessness.

How can you help stop false alarms?

  • Make sure that anyone who has a key to your premises (children, employees, neighbors, caretakers, domestic or cleaning crews, delivery personnel, realtors, and all temporary staff) is fully trained to use the system. This means that they need to know how to arm and disarm the system, including cancellation procedures.
  • Review your alarm system operating manual. Take time to educate everyone with access to your home on proper system operation. For copies of actual Teletek Electronics’ product manuals, please visit our corporate web site: www.teletek-electronics.com .
  • If you have left the premises and wish to re-enter and immediately leave again, disarm your system when you re-enter and arm it again before you leave. Often alarm users will remember that they have left an item in the premises and attempt to "beat the clock" by getting in and out before the alarm goes off. If you feel there is any chance that you have tripped the alarm, either contact your alarm company to confirm your cancellation or remain on the scene until they contact you.
  • If your system includes a back-up battery for use during an electrical power loss, check to make sure that is fully charged. Low battery voltage is the second most common cause of accidental alarms. Most alarm systems visually indicate a problem with the battery.
  • Regularly check alarm contact swtiches/magnets on doors and windows for damage or looseness. Call your local installer if service adjustments are needed.
  • If your system has glass-break detectors, make sure that they have been adjusted properly so that loud noises such as thunder or nearby construction will not set off the alarm.
  • Check that all doors and windows are locked and cannot be inadvertently opened by a strong breeze. Motion detectors should be aimed away from air vents, sources of heat, fireplaces and windows. If this is not the case, call your installer for a service visit. Plants and other objects should also be placed out of the field of vision.
  • Regularly check local alarm ordinances, if any, that govern the operation of the system and ensure that all permits, fees and other required components are in compliance to prevent any pitfalls with local authorities.
  • Periodically test your alarm system with the monitoring station as recommended in your owner's manual to ensure that signals are being properly received.
  • Always advise your monitoring company before any interior remodeling (including air vent repair, extensive painting, window replacement and any changes to the location of doors, walls or windows) that may affect the alarm system configuration.

What will happen if your system launches a false alarm?

  • Users with recurring false alarms may be subject to municipal fines. Fines for false alarms vary depending on your residence location.
  • Users with recurring false alarms can be subject to suspension or cancellation of services. The service penalty imposed by police, fire or emergency dispatch units varies depending on municipality.
  • You can make a difference in preventing false alarms in your community. If you have additional questions, please speak to your Teletek Electronics sales representative.