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False Alarm Prevention For Worship Facilities

DID YOU KNOW? 

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.