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|What is a False Alarm?
|For A Burglar or Holdup Alarm: A false alarm is notification of an alarm to law enforcement when the responding authority finds no evidence of criminal offense or attempted criminal offense.
For a Fire Alarm: The activation of any fire alarm system which results in a response by the fire department and which is caused by the negligence or intentional misuse of the fire alarm system by the owner, its employees, agents or any other activation of a fire alarm system not caused by heat, smoke or fire.
|Why Are False Alarms A Problem?
|Cost You: False alarms cost system users $$$.
Waste: False alarms waste valuable public safety resources.
Delay Response: False alarms can delay response when you really need it.
Complacency: Frequent false alarms tend to make responders complacent. Complacency leads to carelessness. Carelessness injures law enforcement & firefighters.
Cry Wolf: Can desensitize the community to actual incidents and lead occupants and others to ignore the alarm when it goes off.
Can discourage use of alarms: False alarms make owners reluctant to use their system, exposing their home, facility or business to fire and property damage.
|Should Storms Cause A False Alarm?
|NO. Power surges and lightning strikes should not cause false alarms! False alarms caused by lightning strikes are controllable through the proper grounding of alarm systems and the use of power AND phone line surge suppressors. Use of surge suppressors greatly reduces false alarms by redirecting and dissipating electrical current to the ground. Power outages or interruption of power should not cause false alarms!
|What is Video Verification?
|Video is typically transmitted to the monitoring center when another security device in the protected premise has been activated. It is often used to determine who (if anyone) is at the protected premise when the premise is breached. It has also been effective in outdoor applications where audio verification and other technologies are not as effective
|What Is Audio Verification?
|There are three major methods being utilized in the market today:
Listen-in Audio: When a security device has been activated, such as a door contact or motion detector, etc., the listen-in device is also turned on to allow the monitoring center to hear what is happening at the protected premises.
Two-Way Audio: A hands free communication session takes place between the alarm user and monitoring center to assist in determining the cause of an alarm activation in the protected premise. This method is most commonly used with the alarm user’s keypad.
Impact Activated Audio: Sounds are transmitted to the monitoring center from the protected premise by an audio sensor, which is capable of hearing the sounds of an actual intrusion as it is taking place. This is different from the listen-in capability in that no other security device needs to be activated for this technology to function.
|How Can Disasters Impact Alarm Systems?
|If you are required to evacuate due to a disaster, do you have a plan in place to avoid potential false alarms from your alarm system? Taking a few simple steps before a disaster occurs, will help to avoid potential problems and the uncertainty that comes when you are required to make quick decisions in the face of a disaster.
If you install a generator to prepare for power outages, discuss with your alarm company how to connect the alarm system, as well as the procedures to follow before a disaster occurs.
Ensure that your contact list and information is always kept current. You should contact your alarm company at least once per year to update.
If you relocate in an emergency, contact your alarm company with phone numbers of where you can be reached and provide them with the phone number of a contact person outside the immediate area, if available.
|What Is Your Identity Password?
|When an alarm activation occurs and the alarm company calls, the alarm operator will ask, “What is your password?” Few customers will answer this question correctly on the first try. Your Identity Password is the word you gave your alarm company when you had the system installed, which identifies you to the alarm company as an authorized alarm user. It should be a word that is familiar to you and can easily be recalled. The Identity Password may be called a passcode, password, personal identification code (PIC) or personal identification number (PIN) by your alarm company. Your Identity Password is NOT your entry/exit code.
|What Is Your Entry/Exit Code?
|When your alarm system was installed, the installer asked you to select a secret entry/exit code – the sequence of numbers (usually 4 digits) that you press into the keypad to arm or disarm your system. You probably selected a number that would be easy to remember for you and others who would be using your system. When the alarm company calls, this may be the first number that you recall because you use it so frequently, but it is not your Identity Password. Remember, it is a secret code that only you and other authorized users of your alarm system know. The entry/exit code cannot identify you as an authorized user to the alarm monitoring company, because it is not on file with them.
|What is Enhanced Call Verification?
|Enhanced Call Verification is a simple and effective way that you can prevent law enforcement from responding to a false burglar alarm at your home or business. It requires your alarm company to attempt to verify a burglar alarm activation by making a minimum of two phone calls to two different numbers prior to dispatching law enforcement. The first call is to the home or business where the alarm is occurring, and, having failed to reach a responsible party, a second call is made to a different phone number that will be answered after hours or when the alarm owner is away. The most effective second call is to a cell phone.
The Enhanced Call Verification procedure is only used for burglar alarm signals. All fire, medical, panic, hold-up or duress and robbery signals would follow the dispatch procedures required by your local ordinance and/or policies and in accordance with the alarm company’s standard operating procedures