Worship facilities share unique circumstances often contributing to the overall false alarm problem. These circumstances include frequent turnover of volunteers, constant public access, in-house schools and daycare centers, fundraising activities, and multiple service providers and delivery personnel.
WORSHIP FACILITIES CAN CONTROL THE HIDDEN COSTS OF FALSE ALARMS
- Identify the magnitude of your problem and the “hidden costs” will quickly become visible.
- Talk to your alarm provider and become re- educated in the design and use of YOUR security system.
- Ensure your system identifies the device that caused the alarm activation.
- Install equipment to make activation easy when needed, but safe from accidental trip.
- Use internal verification procedures where, upon an alarm activation (including robbery, holdup, duress, or panic alarms), the monitoring operator contacts your location to obtain a code word confirming or discounting the alarm activation prior to requesting law enforcement dispatch.
- Ensure your monitoring company uses Enhanced Call Verification (ECV), which means that two calls must be made to different phone numbers, where a responsible party can typically be reached, prior to police dispatch.
- Fully train all users in use of the equipment.
- Identify if problems are occurring during specific opening and/or closing times.
SPECIAL TIPS FOR WORSHIP FACILITIES
- Thoroughly train all authorized alarm users.
- Limit the number of people who have keys to the facility.
- Hold monthly training sessions to teach proper operation of the alarm system and how to cancel accidental activations.
- Thoroughly train temporary holiday alarm users to avoid holiday-related false alarms.
- Look for items that can move within the “view” of your motion detectors causing false alarms.
- Ensure that an authorized church member is on-site to properly arm and disarm the alarm when community or other groups use the facility.
- Secure and lock all doors and windows before arming your system.
- Don’t change pass codes and arming codes without advising the appropriate authorized users. If pass codes are changed notify your alarm company.
- Your central monitoring station should not request a law enforcement dispatch for power outages or low battery signals. Consult with law enforcement and your alarm company to determine the appropriate response to a loss of telephone connection signal in order to reduce false alarms and ensure detection of an intrusion attempt.
- Immediately contact your alarm provider if you believe your alarm system is not working properly.
- Service and maintain your system (including batteries) regularly – before false alarms occur.
- If your facility requires wireless hold-up protection, use dual-action devices only.
- Upgrade old alarm systems to current equipment that conform to Security Industry Association (SIA) false alarm prevention standards.