Business Tips to Avoid Security False Alarms

business securityAvoiding false alarms is a good idea for business owners and managers. By following some simple guidelines, it is possible for business owners and employees to reduce the number of false alarms generated at their facilities.

Tips to avoiding false alarms

  • Train employees. Prevent false alarms by training employees to follow proper opening and closing procedures. All employees that might be around the business at either opening or closing hours should be trained in basic false alarm prevention measures. Employees should be aware of what doors to use upon entering and exiting the building and be given any pass codes or arming codes that they might have to use. You should also notify the central monitoring station of any new users that are authorized to give pass codes or disable the alarm system. Your employees should check that all windows and doors are locked before arming the system.

  • Keep everyone in the know. Be sure that your central monitoring station is contacted if changes occur with your alarm system. You should notify your central monitoring station of any changes such as new or changed pass codes and authorized employees being added or removed. You should also make certain that your employees are aware of any changes to the arming and pass codes.

  • Do routine maintenance. Prevent false alarms by performing basic maintenance. False alarms can be caused by batteries going out, or by a short in the system, caused by water intrusion into the lines. Older systems that connect directly to the police station should be replaced with modern, high security monitoring technology. These systems don’t rely on direct connection to the police station to provide monitoring. Dirty or wet phone lines, along with service interruptions frequently cause a false alarm, triggering police response. Also, monthly meetings should be held, going over alarm procedures and training refreshers on how to shut off the alarm in the case of an accidental activation. If you want to make sure your alarm system is not out of date, click here.

  • Get a dual action device. For businesses that rely on wireless holdup devices, a dual action device will help reduce the number of false alarms that can occur, due to an accidental triggering of the alarm.

Causes of false alarms

  • Too much access to facilities. General public, vendors, suppliers and service providers having open access to your facilities. During business hours, the alarm system shouldn’t be activated, except for panic devices. Vendors, especially janitorial services sometimes need to access the facility, after business hours. You should go over the procedures for activating and deactivating the alarm system with the appropriate representatives.

  • Improper opening and closing procedures. If employees don’t follow the proper opening or closing procedures, a false alarm can be triggered, which might result in a citation being issued by the responding police department.

  • Businesses that have high turnover also experience more false alarms than others due to the difficulty of keeping everyone up to speed on the correct procedures to avoid tripping the alarms.

  • Holiday decorations, or any decorations for that matter, can set off your motion sensors. Hanging or moving holiday decorations can trigger the motion sensor if they are placed in an area that is monitored. Decorations being moved by airflow from the vents or fans, along with moving decorations, will trigger the motion sensor if they are too close to the sensor.

  • If your business has large rolling doors, you should work with the installation technicians to make sure that the sensors are appropriately placed to avoid wind rattling the doors and setting off an alarm. One way to avoid false alarms on the door contacts is to require that both contacts be activated before an alarm is triggered. Contacts should be placed on both sides in a spot 4 to 5 foot off the ground, and another pair at 7 to 8 feet off the ground. If all 4 sensors are triggered, it is most likely going to be an actual alarm, and not the wind rattling the doors.

  • Cats, wildlife, and rodents are notorious for setting off outdoor motion detectors. You should check with your alarm installer to see if you need upgraded motion sensor that are calibrated to avoid these types of false alarms.

Side effects of false alarms

Most localities have fines for repeated false alarms. You should reduce the possibility of false alarms by keeping the authorized alarm users list updated with your monitoring center, along with making sure that your employees are thoroughly trained on opening and closing procedures along with deactivation procedures if an alarm is accidentally triggered. This helps discourage false alarms. False alarms increase the cost of business, and are inconvenient for both the staff of the business and the respondents. Reducing false alarms helps ensure a prompt response to any alarms at your business.

If your business does not currently have an alarm system, we can give you many reasons why it should.