False Alarms

How to Prevent False Alarms

March 1, 2021 by

Installing a burglar alarm is one of the best steps that you can take towards securing your home. However, installing one also means that you should be accountable for its proper use and maintenance. Security systems that are not installed correctly, have faulty components, or are used improperly may result in false alarms.

A false alarm occurs when your alarm is activated accidentally while there’s no true emergency situation. In some cases, false alarms can lead to false dispatches, whereby emergency response teams are sent unnecessarily to address the false alarm. This puts undue pressure on the authorities and emergency responders, which is why most companies and emergency responders impose fines on homeowners for any false alarm.

If there’s a high incidence of false alarms, such that they affect the effectiveness of emergency medical services (EMS), fire, and local police departments, it may impact relevant by-laws in your region. Taking measures to reduce false alarms will help to prevent fines and also allow emergency first responders to be available for people who actually need them.

Common Causes of False Alarms

The vast majority of false alarms (80% of cases) are caused by user errors that can be easily prevented. Human mistakes such as entering the wrong passcode or taking too long to enter the complete code can prompt false alarms.

Other common causes of false alarms include:

  • Children, neighbours, and visitors
  • Unlocked or loose doors and windows
  • Pets
  • Cleaning crews, pet sitters, repairmen, or private contractors unfamiliar with the system
  • Week batteries that need replacing
  • Equipment malfunction
  • Moving holiday decorations like balloons or plants

Ways to Avoid False Alarms in Your Home

With many cities issuing fines for any cases of unwarranted alarm dispatches, homeowners risk paying a fine of between $50 and $250+ per incident. So, minimizing false alarms will be beneficial for both the user and emergency responders. Here are some ways to prevent false alarms:

1. Know your system

Start by making sure that the security system is properly installed. The sensors and detectors should be aligned correctly, and other equipment installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions. During installation of your security system, make sure that you fully understand how to operate it from the user guide, and ask the technician if you still have any questions.

2. Strategic placement of components

Make sure that the sensors are turned away from fans, air/heat vents, and windows to avoid drafts or breezes that could trigger a false alarm. Once you find a good position, make sure to shift any moving objects away from the sensors after setting the alarm. It’s also a good idea to install the keypad where it can be easily accessed from the exit point, and set a reasonable period for the arming delay.

3. Properly train users

Make sure that your family members and other people who are authorized to access your residence are well trained on using the security system. Whether it’s your children, a babysitter, or a relative, teach them to arm and disarm the security system properly by demonstrating how it works and then having them do it several times under your supervision. They should have the passcode as well as the phone number to your monitoring station in case the alarm goes off accidentally. The monitoring station’s contact information should also be posted by the control panel so it’s readily available. Never give a key to users who are not familiar with the security system.

4. Update the system as needed

Inform your provider if there are any changes in your home, such as new pets, home renovations, and the like to ensure that they won’t affect your security system. They will recommend the appropriate updates to your security system to manage the risk of triggering a false alarm, such as getting an alarm that’s tolerant of pets. For instance, you may forgo motion detectors if your pets are free to roam the house when the alarm is activated, or remove glass-break detectors that can be activated by barking dogs.

5. Annual alarm system inspection

It’s important to do an annual maintenance for your security system to ensure that the signals are transmitting correctly, and that there are no broken sensor connections or loose-fitting doors or windows. You can inspect the security equipment more frequently each year to make sure that it’s running properly. Check any sensitive components, such as glass-break detectors and adjust them accordingly so they’re not set off by loud dog barks, thunder, and other loud noises. Considering that low batteries are the second most common cause of false alarms, make sure to also check the battery backup and replace them every three to five years.

6. Secure your doors and windows

The door and window sensors will get activated when the connection between the two is interrupted. Any loose doors or windows can be rattled by the wind and trigger the alarm. So, check your doors and windows to ensure they’re closed and locked every time before setting the alarm.

7. Choose pet-friendly sensors

If you have pets in your home that are free to roam while you’re away, consider getting motion sensors that are immune to movement. These sensors typically ignore any motion by pets under 80 pounds. It could also be a good idea to get glass break sensors instead of motion sensors to avoid the possibility of false alarms from your pets moving around.

What if the alarm goes off accidentally?

In the event that you set your alarm off accidentally, you shouldn’t panic. Try to stay calm and:

  • Carefully input the disarm code to reset your system.
  • Wait for your monitoring station or alarm company to call via 2-way voice or on your phone and give them your passcode.
  • Don’t leave your home before talking with the monitoring station. If they don’t call or you miss their call, contact them instead to cancel the police dispatch.
  • Don’t call any emergency responder directly, or even 911. Only contact your monitoring station.
  • Make arrangements with your alarm monitoring service provider to always call you or another designated person before dispatching the police, ambulance, or fire department whenever your alarm is activated.

Lastly, accidents happen. After the incident, take measures to prevent that mistake from happening again. Review your security system and make the necessary changes to avoid another false alarm from the same problem.

Final Note

Professional security companies play a vital role in not only installing your burglar system correctly, but also helping you to understand the best way to use it and reduce the risk of false alarms. For more information, please contact Canadian Security Professionals.

Leave a Comment






"Products seemed well-made and service was excellent; during the install, the technician was knowledgeable and professional. The install itself was straight forward and not intrusive aesthetically. I..."

Ali Al-Hashimi.

"Great feeling to have made right choice selecting Canadian Security Professional for Remote (smartphone) activated Alarm/Monitoring package. I highly recommend. "

Anil Kaul.

"Super helpful friendly team at CSP. Outstanding tech support. Would definitely recommend as a security company and a company that can help sort out all that is new in smart home technology. Not being..."

Kathy Shaw.

"I wish there was a 10 star button. From the first interaction until the final installation, it was an amazing experience. Not only my equipment was set up professionally but the service was..."

Ammar Albaqali.

"Excellent Staff to deal with. Very thorough about everything they install. Very friendly customer service. We were happy that they were a few minutes early to do the installation. They cleaned up..."

Giuseppe Battaglia.

"We had an alarm setup in our commercial office space by CSP. The amazing service started with Adam, who helped us understand what we needed. From there, the installer showed up on time, installed all..."

Tom Yawney.

"Very friendly conversation and nice work done by Tamim in setting up the home security installation. Also would like to thank Chelsee for all coordination and smooth installation. Thank you. "

Asha Topagi.

"Great company from sales to install . Fast install and friendly knowledgeable installers . Helped with setup and made everything easy to understand. Very nice system with cameras . Will recommend to..."

Craig Kawucha.

"We were so pleased when we contacted Canadian Service Professionals. Heather was prompt and very helpful in answering all of our questions. Our service technician, Tamim, was wonderful. He installed..."

Aravinth S.

"Choosing the right alarm company is a daunting task but right from the onset Heather was informative and unbelievably helpful. Heather helped me with my choices, advised and made sure that my alarm..."

Linda Kasprzak.

"Chelsee was so efficient and pleased to help me get the right system for my house. I wanted it installed as quickly as possible after we had a break in. It was installed the next day! Tim showed up..."

Amy Hoo.

"Very quick job, next day installation, good communication with sales person Eric. Next day Tamim showed up in our house and did a quick, professional and clean job with clear explanation and..."

Natalie M.

"Could not be happier with our new alarm system. It is user friendly and was easily adapted to suit our needs. Our Technician (Rabah) went above and beyond to ensure that our system was installed..."

Barry Snider.

"I’m very happy with the service CSP has provided, the discussion I had by email, before the installation of the system, was really helpful for finding what would be the best and the most efficient..."

Loïc W.

"Tamim came extra early to accommodate my doctor’s appointment that day. Unfortunately, some of my other installations were running late (cable, HVAC), Tamim stayed later than he was supposed to..."

Nicole.

"Canadian Security Professionals is a wonderful company to deal with. The team was very knowledgeable and educated me about the product and I felt more comfortable to use the alarm system. It is..."

Angela.

"We’re so glad we did our research and selected CSP! Incredible service from initial to the installation. Both representatives were professional, patient and educated us on how the products..."

Angeline Shawn.

"I would highly recommend CSP. The entire process was very easy and headache free. "

Francisco Peria.

"Excellent service from original contact, who immediately responded to my queries, to providing a quote based on my needs, and the professional installer. System is everything I wanted and then some...."

Luke Desimone.

"Had good communication with the sales person. He explained everything in detail. There was no hidden charges. Everything was straight forward. And the technician was super helpful, professional and..."

Ajay Mathews.

"Installer’s work was exceptionally neat and clean. I’m looking forward to having him install my security system at our cottage as well. The sales person was excellent. I will be pleased and..."

Phil Wiseman.

"Excellent experience! Thorough, professional and patient technician.. Thank you very much. We won’t hesitate to recommend you. "

Jason McMaster.

"I just switched from a well-know security firm to Canadian Security Professionals. The change over was done exceedingly well, the installation was quick and professional and service has been great...."

Eric.

"CSP has exceeded my expectations in both customer service and system quality. The pre sales interactions were handled very professionally and with a keen interest in helping me obtain a security..."

Adam H.

"Just wanted to say thanks for coordinating the install and just say that the installer did an excellent job and I would recommend your service. The installer was very patient and did everything to..."

Aldo.

"From the inital phone call consulation with Jennifer M., she was very knowledgeable and professional. I even had my spouse speak with her in order to help us make this important decision somewhat..."

Bob & Shauna.

"I want to say Thank You for all of your patience, and help. I downloaded the manual for my Simon XT Security System.. Everything is working perfectly. I went to previous employer today (I am retired)..."

From Jan and Bob.

"The installation was great, Equipment seems to be perfect, Your self and the installer was very Professional, courteous and a Pleasure to have met. I could not say enough about the Installer, I can..."

Skye’s Fashion Jewelry.

"I would like to take this opportunity to tell you how pleased I am with the excellent customer service I recently received from your technician Tamim. I wanted you to know that his patience, courtesy..."

Catherine N.

"Hi Jennifer, Great experience ! Rabah was absolutely amazing , very pleasant , friendly and fast. Explained everything very well to me and my hubby. We are very impressed with your outstanding..."

Renata.

"Just a quick note to commend Rabah who installed our alarm on Monday, Oct. 21, 2013. We are very pleased with his installation. He accommodated us, choosing the best possible location for the unit,..."

Joesph & Dee.

"Just had my alarm system set up today, and the gentleman that set it up was absolutely amazing. So kind and professional, my husband and I were truly blown away by the customer service we received..."

Kristina Kamber.

"I recently had a system installed at my house. So far, the system appears to be working great, easy to use and is a real peace of mind. I hope it continues this way. I would like to comment on the..."

Pierre Jean.

"The alarm system is all that I expected. The installation guy was polite and helpful. Thanks again for your help. I’m confident that I made the right choice in going with your company. "

Ed Doherty.

"I want to recommend the Protectron Alarm System to all my friends and family. I have a 3 year old granddaughter, who can now open all of my doors and patio door as well. Your voice activated sensors..."

Mary Speck.

"We are very excited about making the switch. I really like the idea that the home will not only be monitored for burglars but also for fire and the fact that we will finally have a keypad (so my..."

Susie.

"As we were looking into purchasing a home security system, we got in touch with Jennifer Morgan. Throughout the entire process, Jennifer was extremely helpful and went above and beyond our..."

Rob and Sherry P.

"You will be delighted to know that both Tamim and I exchanged good words about you. We both agreed your enthusiasm and ability to compromise wins business. For example, I was dealing with 3 other..."

Raymond.

"Thank you for all the help with our alarm system quote helping us grasp the vital distinctions between the various models and monitoring services available. The installation team you sent were..."

Cliff.

"On the night of August 3rd, we were victims of a hold-up.Thanks to the rapid intervention of the Protectron monitoring station employees, the police arrested the perpetrator. We sincerely applaud the..."

Patrick Gosselin, Libre Service Esso Montreal.

"Our employees’ and business security is very close to our heart! We continue to use Protectron for their professionalism, excellent service and their technological expertise! "

Pierre Crispin, Canada Council for the Arts, Ottawa.

"Protectron has provided the Queensway-Carleton Hospital with exceptional sales and service for our Security and Access Control systems. They are committed to customer satisfaction and they have..."

Mike Epp Manager, Security and Emergency Response Queensway-Carleton Hospital, Ottawa.

911 Golf Links Road #114, Ancaster, ON L9K 1H9

1-877-494-9911

Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday: 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM (EST) and Saturday: 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM (EST)