How Can I Avoid Setting False Alarms?

Despite advanced technology, false alarms do happen occasionally. This can be a result of faulty equipment, dead batteries, improper installation, user error, or any number of other issues. There can be fines of up to $200 associated with repeated false alarms, but proper system use and maintenance can help you avoid those hefty expenses.

Here are some tips to minimize the chances of a false alarm.

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1. Use pet-immune motion sensors

Active pets are frequent causes of false alarms. Luckily, there are special motion sensors with sensitivity settings that allow the alarm to ignore movement from pets. By installing pet-immune sensors, you can stop worrying about false alarms and let your furry friends roam freely through the house.

2. Practice entering your code

Another very common cause of false alarms is homeowners entering the wrong code to deactivate the alarm. Make sure everyone who needs to be able to deactivate the alarm knows the code well enough to enter it before the alarm triggers.

3. Keep the batteries fresh

Change the batteries in your home security equipment regularly. Low batteries can lead to false alarms. Typically, the equipment will notify you that the batteries are running low, but it’s not a bad idea to consult with your monitoring company to see if it recommends regular battery tests.

4. Keep the area around motion sensors clear

It’s not just pets that can trigger motion detectors—stray objects like balls rolling past sensors can also set the alarm off. Balloons are notorious for causing false alarms when they float by. Keep the area free of clutter and tie down anything that could be blown around by the air conditioner.

5. Close windows and doors securely

It’s easy to leave the window open just enough to trigger the alarm. Get in the habit of closing all doors and windows tightly. This is a good tip to follow regardless of false alarms—you don’t want to give a potential intruder any help getting into your home.

6. Keep your home security equipment in good shape

Although most false alarms can be blamed on human error, faulty equipment can also trigger an alert. If any of your home security gear requires regular maintenance, make sure you keep up with it. And if you think there is a defect in any of the components, get it taken care of right away. This could mean contacting the company for warranty support or calling your home security provider to have a tech come out and look at it. Either way, don’t wait.

Overall, one of the best ways to avoid accidentally triggering an alarm is to be familiar with all your system’s components. Read through our resource guides to learn more about different security elements and how they work.


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Celeste Tholen
Written by
Celeste Tholen
Celeste has dedicated her decade-long career to reporting and reviews that help people make well-informed decisions. She oversees editorial strategy and production for SafeWise, with a goal to help people find the information they need to make their homes and lives safer. Prior to SafeWise, she worked as an editor and reporter for KSL and Deseret News. She continues to report on local news as a volunteer with the community paper. For the last six years, she’s led a Girl Scout troop, teaching girls about safety and preparing for whatever life throws their way.

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