Common Causes of False Alarms

Activating alarm code security system - causes of false alarms

The truth is false alarms waste company time, money, and community resources. The headaches that come with false alarms don’t have to be another ‘side effect’ of owning a business or commercial property. There are preventative measures you can take to ensure that your security system is operating efficiently and effectively when you need it most. 

In the average bustling city, investigating and responding to triggered alarms accounts for thousands of police patrol hours, and millions of taxpayer dollars each year. A few preventative steps here and there can help reduce the causes of false alarms in the face of a real emergency.

Typical Causes of False Alarms

Human Error – Plain old human error accounts for over 80% of false alarms a day/month/year/etc. This could be from lack of user training, learning curve for a new system, changing passcodes without notifying the password holders, to improper arming and disarming. 

If you’re experiencing regular issues with human error, it’s worth considering a refresher course in handling the system. Your city may be lenient with the first or second false alarm dispatch, but excessive triggers will result in sizable fines from the city.

Did You Know:

In 49% of false alarms, the wrong code is entered.

In 26% of false alarms,  users run out of delay time to disarm.

In 26% of false alarms, the user simply armed their system wrong.

Poor Sensor Placement – Big box store systems and DIY installation seems like an attractive option at first, but could end up being more costly long-term. Placement is one of the easiest, preventable causes of false alarms for commercial properties.

If you’re experiencing problems with your current installation placement, consider a system relocation. When talking with your service provider, it helps to know on hand where your problems most occur, and in which locations. Between the two of you, you can determine the optimal location for efficient urgency. 

Outdated System/Equipment – Sensors today are smarter than older equipment, which is why dated systems are more prone to false alarms. As security systems improve, older systems contribute to the increasing cause of false alarms.

If you’re experiencing trouble with regular system testing and maintenance, like battery replacement, system upgrades, or trigger sensitivity, upgrade now, before it’s too late. Luckily, we know a good, reputable company that can help you get your security system back on track.

Police lights at night - causes of false alarms

How Much Will A False Alarm Cost Me?

False alarms can quickly add up. Exactly how much you’ll have to shell out depends on where you live, and the miscellaneous fees that come with reactive system maintenance and employee training.

According to the Northern Las Vegas Fire Department, here’s what you can expect to owe:

Business License/Permit Fees: $80 – $100 (+ additional late fees)

Re-Inspections for License/Permit: 1st and 2nd no fee, $80 per inspection thereafter

False Alarm Fines: Up to $500 for repeated false alarms.

How Modern Systems Prevent False Alarms

Today’s modern features are better at identifying real threats from false, making them a worthwhile investment from the jump. For instance, fire alarms today include responsive ionization and photoelectric components that can distinguish fire smoke from other types of smoke, like burnt food, and infrared motion detectors can distinguish between humans and animals. 

Newer commercial equipment comes with handy features like remote arm and disarm, which allows business owners to be alerted wherever they are by their smart device. Or monitoring services, where, in the case of a potential false alarm, the company monitoring the property will attempt to reach you first, before notifying authorities.

Prioritize False Alarm Prevention With A&B Security

False alarms are inconvenient, time-consuming, and costly for all involved. Newer systems are evolving towards active intervention and prevention, helping to reduce costly mistakes, but proper installation and training continue to be the leading causes of false alarms. A&B Security can help you prioritize your company’s false alarm prevention. Contact us today to see exactly how we can help you save unnecessary costs.