Anatomy of False Alarms

An electronic security alarm system uses a combination of contacts and internal motion sensors. When a contact is broken, your alarm is set off. This contact may be broken by something as simple as a loose window rattling in its frame.

The standard time to cancel an alarm is 30 to 45 seconds. This is done at the keypad with a code. If you don't cancel in time, the alarms sound, and if you have a monitored system, a signal is relayed to a central monitoring station.

The operator at the center tries to determine the validity of the alarm. He will call your home or business, and other back-up numbers that you provide. It's important that this contact information is correct. If the operator cannot verify the alarm, he will immediately contact the local law enforcement and / or firefighting agency, which will then dispatch officers to the scene.

There are many safeguards built into alarm systems, to help prevent false dispatches. Alarm users need to take advantage of these safeguards by being aware of them, and by following guidelines for the proper use of their system.