In any situation, it’s better to be protected and overcautious than to be unprotected and running the risk of negative consequences. Home security is no exception to this rule. Nonetheless, it’s worth considering the potential downsides to having an overly sensitive home monitoring system. If your home security system is regularly causing false alarms, then you may be doing more damage to yourself and to others than you think. A study conducted by The Herald of Everett, Washington revealed that over 90 percent of alarm activations that trigger a police response are falsely tripped. If you’re setting up a new home security system or updating your current one, take a few moments to read these three tips on how to reduce false alarms.

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Know the causes

According to the aforementioned study from The Herald, the main causes of false alarms are user error, pet movement and poorly maintained equipment. Given that the causes are identifiable, it’s within your control to reduce the odds of triggering a false alarm by making small adaptations. The possibility of an alarm being triggered via user error can be greatly reduced by simply going through the instruction manual for any equipment you purchase before installing it. The same sort of logic can be applied to alarms caused by pet movement; establish an area in your yard free of security equipment and dedicate it as space for your pet. Take this further by situating any indoor security equipment in locations that cannot be easily reached by your four-legged friends. As for poorly maintained equipment, Protect America offers a lifetime warranty for all equipment for as long as a customer remains subscribed to our home monitoring service. Check your equipment regularly and have it replaced as needed.

Be aware of the costs

It’s widely accepted that, as humans, we’re more likely not to engage in a behavior when there’s a negative connotation or repercussion attached directly to it. Following this logic, try to make yourself and your family aware of the repercussions of false alarms. There’s no need to attempt to scare people, but be aware of the facts. False security alarms waste roughly $2 billion in police resources every year, greatly limiting the authorities capacity to respond to people actually dealing with an emergency. If that isn’t convincing to you, consider the fact that many municipalities in America charge dispatch fees for improperly triggered alarms, and those costs can add up quickly.

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The little things

When thought of in an unorganized fashion, maintaining an alarm system can seem like a lot of work. However, it’s actually a very minimal commitment to make sure that your home security system is always firing on all cylinders. Set aside an hour each week to test your system’s functionality and ensure that all of your equipment is still in good condition. This act alone could end up saving you and your local municipalities a great deal of money and time, and also increase the odds that someone experiencing a real threat will receive the assistance they need in a timely fashion.