So you're heading to the grocery store... you arm your alarm system and head out. Unfortunately, you forgot to lock your door. Your daughter comes home from school while your gone. She sets off the alarm, but she forgot the code. You're notified, but have the police respond because you aren't home. They arrive to find your daughter. After a quick investigation they leave. End of the story, right? Here comes the part you didn't expect... a big fat false alarm fine from your county government.
False alarm fees.
Many local governments are resorting to charging for false alarm response. It's not that they don't have the right. They are using tax dollars to pay police officers to respond to homes when there is no emergency. They could be using those resources for more important issues. The problem is that many alarm companies have a 30% false alarm rate
(ours is under 1%). Some counties fine after three false alarms a year. Some fine after five. Some fine after one. Bottom line, if you have enough false alarms you will be fined.
So what can you do?
There are many options when it comes to false alarm prevention. Some are your personal responsibility. Others are the responsibility or your alarm company. Here is a list of some of the best ways to prevent false alarms
- Keep your doors and windows locked.
- Make sure your doors fit tightly, and that the alarm company fit the contacts properly.
- Make sure that your pets don't set the alarm off. Your alarm company should design the system properly to avoid this.
- Make sure that fans, balloons, and other objects don't wave in front of motion detectors.
- Make sure everyone in your family is trained on proper use of the alarm, and that they know what to do if they set it off on accident.
- Also train any service people that will be in your home on proper alarm use. Give them their own code so they don't forget it.
- Make sure that everyone on your call list knows that they are on it, and that they know what to do when they get a call.
- Make sure to tell your alarm company about any issues you have.
- Notify your alarm company if you change phone services.
- Notify the alarm company if you do any remodeling.
- Notify the alarm company if you get a new pet.
- Audio Verification: Add audio to your system. If the alarm goes off, the monitoring station can immediately speak with you. If it is a false alarm you can give them your code right away, avoiding police response.
- Video Verification: By adding a camera with remote view to your system you can see what's going on at your house from your phone or computer. Receive a text message with a video clip when your alarm goes off. If it's the cleaning person again, tell the alarm company to disregard the alarm. Our service is called ASI Connect.
Ever been fined for a false alarm? Have questions about making your home false alarm proof? Leave a comment! I hope you enjoyed the story.
Currently rated by 1 people