Tips: False Alarm Prevention

Most often alarm owners set off their alarms while attempting to activate or deactivate their systems. Other examples of false alarms are employees or persons without proper codes, pets, balloons or any object that can be moved by air currents from devices such as heat or air conditioning systems. The Seattle Police Department offers false alarm prevention tips.

Remember, an alarm system only detects motion, not criminal intent.

When working with an alarm system, remember that all monitored alarm systems must go through a third party monitoring center. There are no direct connections to the police or 911 centers.

The monitoring center is only relaying a mechanical signal to the police on your behalf. Be sure to update your phone numbers and contact list. This will assist the monitoring center in the verification process.

Alarm systems may be a deterrent and are most useful when used as a part of a layered security system instead of a stand-alone security device. The foundation of layered security begins with:

  • Physical security (i.e. doors, locks, lights. etc).
  • Active block watches.
  • Additional security measures such as additional phones and/or buddy system .
  • Alternative security practices such as Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED).

If you are going to use an alarm system consider the use of private guard response for alarm signal verification. Your alarm company should have a guard company on retainer and be able to set this up. This typically gives you a more timely economical response and greatly assists the police in reducing unnecessary calls for service. For further details contact the alarm unit listed below.

Preventing False Alarms

  • Once the alarm has been tripped there are ways to prevent the false alarm from reaching the police.
  • Know what to do if you accidentally set-off the alarm system.
  • Call your monitoring center. Not the police. Even if considerable time has elapsed. Only your monitoring center can cancel a request for police regarding your alarm signal that may prevent a false alarm fee.
  • Write down the procedures for activating and deactivating the system and make them available near the control panel.
  • Place the alarm monitoring center's phone number near the phone and/or control panel.
  • Have immediate access to your code or password but do not leave it with the instructions or in unsecured places.
  • Make sure your emergency contact names and phone numbers are updated with the alarm monitoring center.
  • Alarm owners are required to train all other authorized users to properly operate the system. Authorized persons should have their own separate password.
  • Local alarms (those without monitoring companies) are required to have emergency contact phone numbers posted near the front door of the premise.
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