Sheriff's Office Offers Tips, Requests information from Homeowners Regarding Alarm Systems
October 23, 2015 - 1:15 PM
The use of alarm systems by businesses
and homeowners can be useful in both deterring criminal activity and alerting
authorities of emergency situations. The downside is that the majority of
activated alarms are false alarms. From January 1, 2015 through September 30,
2015 The Knox County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to 732 alarm calls.
The vast majority of these calls were false alarms. The time and resources
needed to respond to false alarms takes away from other priorities. In order to
provide the best services possible, we are requesting alarm owners provide the
county dispatch center with two phone numbers that dispatchers can contact when
an alarm is received. The dispatch center can be contacted at 740-393-6728 or
email your information to, firstname.lastname@example.org
. Not all alarm companies provide
the dispatch center with key holder information, or are willing to provide
numbers to emergency personnel. To help reduce the number of false alarms, we
are providing some helpful hints to alarm owners.
Practice using the alarm.
Homeowners tend to have the highest
occurrence of false alarms in the first few days after their system is
installed because they’re getting used to arming and disarming the system. Hold
a family meeting and have everyone practice activating and deactivating the
alarm. Family members must memorize the passcode, be aware there’s a limited
time to enter the code before the alarm activates, and know the code word to
cancel the alarm by phone.
Become aware of sensor locations.
You may not think twice about
opening a window or door or entering a monitored room, but doing so can cause a
false alarm. Every member must be aware that opening a door or window while the
alarm is on will cause it to activate. It’s also important to convey that
windows and doors must be completely closed, as wind or rain coming through a
crack can set off your alarm. Walk through your home with your family and point
out where sensors and motion detectors are installed. In addition to family
members, guests, repairmen, housekeepers, babysitters or other workers should
be aware that your house is alarmed.
Secure objects that can move.
Curtains, balloons, plants and
decorations can be moved by air coming from vents or even from pets passing
nearby. When the movement is detected by the room’s motion sensors, the alarm
is accidently activated. As you’re getting used to a new security system, it’s
a good idea to turn on your home’s air conditioning or heating system to
determine if these items will move and be picked up by a sensor.
Keep pets in their place or use pet immune sensors.
Pets often wander throughout your
home during the day. When they do, they can set off motion detectors that
activate your alarm. Rather than foregoing the use of burglar detecting motion
sensors, replace traditional sensors with “pet friendly” or “pet immune”
sensors. These motion sensors are designed to ignore the presence of pets up to
a certain weight. They are affordable and readily available from many security
Replace batteries regularly.
Your alarm system will warn you when
the system batteries become weak. Changing the system batteries on a regular
basis can help prevent a false alarm. You’ll be happy to know that many
wireless home security systems are outfitted with batteries that can last up to
Stay in touch with Mother Nature.
Sometimes, acts of nature will set
off your alarm. Strong winds, electrical storms, hurricanes, and tornadoes can
result in a false alarm. If a storm is brewing, keep watch on your home
Report suspected damaged or faulty equipment.
False alarms are typically due to
human error. In fact, roughly 70 percent of false alarms are attributed to user
mistakes. But if you think a false alarm is caused by a malfunction of your
home security system, contact your provider immediately. The most fundamental
way to prevent false alarms is by using your home security system on a regular
basis. When your family uses the security system consistently, they’ll get
comfortable with how it works, and that means there’s less likelihood of a
alarm cancellation with anyone who might use your system.
sure anyone who has a key to your house or business knows how to operate
the alarm system.
all users to call the monitoring center when the alarm activates and
present their authorization pass code.
your alarm owner’s manual and alarm monitoring center phone number
all alarms that don’t need emergency response.
the alarm company and dispatch center if you change your phone number or
anyone on your call list changes their phone number.
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