A common concern for those first considering installing an alarm system is false alarms. Will the police be sent to your house? Will you be charged for tripping the alarm? While these are valid concerns, they can be eliminated with a little preparation and education. Follow these seven easy steps to help reduce your chances of having a false alarm.
Know your codes:
When your alarm system is installed, you are asked to select two important codes. First, the four-digit user code is what you input into your keypad or smartphone to disarm your system. Knowing this code will prevent your alarm from being tripped when you re-enter a premises with an armed system. Making sure you and anyone using your system knows this code is the single easiest way to avoid false alarms.
The second code is your personal identification code (PIC) or verbal passcode. This is a word or phrase that you’ll use to identify yourself should your alarm go off and our monitoring center calls you. It is imperative you remember both of these codes.
If you give anyone a key to your home or business, give them a user code and PIC and make sure they know how to use it. This will include anyone with a need to enter your home or business such as relatives, cleaners, real estate agents, pet sitters, contractors or child/elderly care givers.
If you do not remember your user code or PIC, you can establish a new one by sending our monitoring center a letter specifying your intentions to verify or change your codes. This can be done through:
- Mail: 792 Calkins Road, Rochester, NY 14623
- Fax: (800-724-1117)
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For security reasons, we will never take this information over the phone.
Keep your info up-to-date:
When an alarm is tripped, our monitoring center will go through our dispatch procedures including calling the premises and the first emergency contact. If we cannot get in touch with that contact, we will dispatch the police department. This is why it is vital to make sure your emergency contact information is up-to date and accurate, having us calling the wrong numbers will almost certainly lead to a dispatch.
Save our monitoring center’s phone number in your phone:
Should you accidentally trip your alarm, call our monitoring center immediately to cancel the alarm. Having our number saved will allow you to quickly cue it up in case of an alarm. Similarly, having it saved will allow you to identify us should we call you to verify an alarm. Always answer the phone when the monitoring center calls and have your PIC available.
If you make a mistake entering your four-digit code on your keypad, don’t panic. Now that you know your PIC and have the monitoring center’s number saved, you’re prepared to cancel any false alarms. Don’t continually attempt to enter your code into the keypad, as most systems today have a specific number of code entries you are allowed before they lock you out (this prevents a burglar from standing at the keypad and entering codes until they gets it right.) If you have a false alarm and enter the wrong code, either call us or wait for us to call you are we will assist in cancelling the alarm.
Keep objects that move away from motion detectors:
Be mindful of the following objects as they pertain to the line-of-sight of your motion detectors:
- Dangling Signs and other decorations
If you’re concerned about your pet setting of a motion detector, our security professionals can install a pet immune motion detector that won’t trip the alarm on anything under sixty pounds. If you have additional concerns about motion detectors being set off falsely, we can utilize cross zoning, which will only send a burglar alarm to our monitoring center if two sensors are violated within an area.
Schedule a yearly inspection on your system:
If you have any concerns about whether your system or any of the devices are properly working, we can send a certified service technician to do a comprehensive evaluation of your system. Here are a few examples of things to look for that may warrant a system inspection or service call:
- Broken or loose door/window contacts
- Make sure the doors/windows are closing correctly
- Make sure contacts on doors/windows are clean and tight
- Poor fitting doors/windows
- Make sure all window latches and door locks are secure
- Paint/varnish on motion or smoke detectors
- Damage to any exposed wiring
- Repairs should be made by our service department
- Motions and Smoke detectors should be free of any dust, bugs, dirt and spiders/webs.
If you wish to check the status of your system, you can do so at any time by putting your system on “test”. Simply call our monitoring center, tell them you wish to put your system on “test” and then trigger your devices. If everything is working properly, our monitoring center will receive the alarm signals, verify this with you and take your system off test. If there are any issues with the signals, we can schedule a service call to get your system back up and running properly.
Let us know when you go on vacation:
Finally, if you are going on vacation, make sure to notify us of the dates you will be leaving and returning, as well as the names of any individuals who will be checking in on your home or business during that time. We will put a note on your account and keep an eye out for any suspicious activity. Please make sure to provide us with an emergency phone number to reach if it is different than your usual contact information so we can quickly and reliably contact you to verify or cancel an alarm.
Installing an alarm system is one of the best ways to protect your property and bring ultimate peace of mind, so don’t let the fear of a false alarm eat into that peace of mind. Follow the steps above and you’ve got nothing to worry about.