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5 Common Causes of False Alarms and How to Avoid Them

Top10.com Staff
Common Causes of False Alarms And How to Avoid Them
It can be pretty embarrassing when your alarm goes off by accident, especially when all the neighbors watch from their front lawns to see all the Police and Fire Department action. False alarms aren't just embarrassing, they also come at a cost to the alarm companies and local law enforcement, which is why it's so important to minimize them.

Here are five causes of false alarms and steps you can take to make sure they're kept at a minimum:

1. Forgetting Keypad Codes

"What's the code again? Was it my mother's or my father's birthday...Or maybe the dogs'?" While it may sound silly, many alarm owners tend to forget their keypad codes. Make sure that anyone who uses the security system remembers the code. Decide on one important code and repeat it to yourself over and over and over again until it's easier to remember than your own birthday.

2. Unsecured Windows and Doors

If a window or door isn't secured properly, the alarm will go off the minute you leave the home. If you don't notice the alarm going off, the alarm company isn't going to waste time trying to reach you and will just call the local law enforcement to check the situation out.

When setting your alarm, always make it a habit to wait near your door for a minute or so afterwards, just in case. This way you'll be able to hear the warnings that there's an open window or door. And definitely make it a habit to make sure that all windows and doors are locked and secure before even setting the alarm system.

3. Wandering Pets

Many alarm systems now come with motion sensors, and that's where your pet(s) may come into play. The alarm may go off because the pet either got too big for the system or figured out a way to escape their room. Try creating an area for your pet that is escape-proof or just disarm the motion sensor to the degree you feel comfortable with.

4. Objects Around Motion Detectors

Your motion detectors don't only detect motion from a person or pet. They are sensitive to any motion, even from unsecured items such as hanging clothing, toys or balloons. Any time the alarm detects motion, it's going to go off. Make sure that problematic items are either properly secured or placed in a room that doesn't have motion detectors. 

5. Faulty Equipment

While faulty equipment is less in your control that the other causes, you can still help prevent these errors by paying attention to the instructions that came with the alarm. If the company says the system requires a maintenance check every 18-24 months, make sure to schedule a maintenance check every 18-24 months. You'll be happy you did. 

Studies have shown that more than 80 percent of false alarms are caused by user errors. By paying attention to common causes of false alarms, you can drastically reduce their occurrence. And besides, we all know it's more fun watching from the front lawn while the neighbor deals with a false alarm. So pay attention to these tips and remember that every day without the alarm going off is a good day.

If you're looking for a home security provider, check out some of the best providers in the business here.

Top10.com Staff
Top10.com's editorial staff is a professional team of editors and writers with dozens of years of experience covering consumer, financial and business products and services.