“Whoops, false alarm”. They may not seem like that big of a deal. Practically hundreds of thousands occur across the U.S. each year. But a false alarm is becoming more costly than ever, so it’s a great time to start thinking about how you can avoid unnecessary fines and, more importantly, ensure that in the event of a real emergency your family and home are protected.
The Truth about False Alarms
Almost 98% of all alarm calls are false. Now, that may seem way overblown. On a more localized level, it is estimated that there are about 2 false alarms per system, per year. This makes things seem much less out of control, but with approximately 7 million (and rising) alarm systems now installed across the U.S., the reality is this: responding to false alarms has become a real concern to governmental officials. So much so that many states are charging home- and business-owners nominal fees for each subsequent false alarm recorded (more on this in just a bit).
So what causes a false alarm, you ask? Well, it can result from any number of the following reasons:
- Technological error: faulty wiring, device malfunction, improper device response
- Installation error: sensors poorly mounted in inappropriate places, sensitivity set too high
- User error: Incomplete training for complex system, wrong key-code consecutively entered, incorrect data on file at monitoring station
No Problem, We’ll be Fined
In an effort to reduce the ‘alarming’ rate of false alarms, government officials are implementing new and improved methods to urge home- and business-owners to properly educate family and staff on how to arm/disarm their alarm system and remain overall more aware of how to use basic security features. They include:
- Enhanced verification by the central monitoring station
- Properly train users on basic alarm system operations and features
- Local ordinances and state laws requiring system registration, proof of system repair, limited police services after a set number of reported false alarms, or service charges to alarm companies for installing faulty hardware
- Requesting better equipment be installed
- Permit requirements
Of the items listed above, the most concerning to residents has been the advent of cities charging fines for false alarms. The amount charged, number of false alarms permitted, and in some cases the response limit all vary by city. Fines can start from $20-50 for the third or fourth false alarm within a year, reaching as high as $200 per day after the sixth reported case. Local officials can request that emergency response be revoked after (on average) the fourth time an alarm is reported false at any residency. They can even charge fees to have an alarm reinstated.
Don’t be Scared. Be Prepared.
It is more important than ever to ensure that you have an easy-to-use, user-friendly alarm system properly installed by a licensed technician, and that you frequently test and/or inspect your alarm system for unexpected technical errors at least once a year. Train capable family members and close friends on the basic features like arming/disarming and calling for emergency. Ask about ways to control your home or business from your smart phone or tablet in the event that an alarm is triggered so you can quickly turn it off or help further alert local authorities.
If you are considering adding a home security system, a security camera or home automation; contact the security experts at Capital Connect Tucson. Capital Connect Tucson can help you with all of your home security needs. Call (520) 209-2525 today. Request a Quote online or come by the office located at 6400 E Grant Rd #270, Tucson, AZ.