False Alarm Prevention For Worship Facilities


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.


  • 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.


  • 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.