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How to Prevent Home Security False Alarms

Posted: June 23, 2017

False alarms are a reality for anyone with a home security system.With a DIY system or a system that isn’t monitored, you will be the only one responding to any home security alarms that occur. In this case, you will be responsible for determining the nature of the home alarm and deciding whether or not to alert emergency services. With a monitored system, you have an army of backup at your disposal. What happens when that home security alarm sounds?

1. When an event occurs that is recognized by your home security equipment, an internal home alarm will sound.

This notifies anyone in the home that a sensor has detected something unusual. Typically, these can only be heard from inside the home.

2. Your home monitoring service informs the primary contact on the account to let you know a home alarm has been triggered.

This can happen via text or phone call, depending on how you have your account set up. If a contact is reached, a physical person from ADT gives you the following information:

  • What kind of alarm is going off
  • Which sensor caused the alarm

3. If no one is reached, the secondary contact will be notified.

The secondary contact will already be specified. If you live alone or have no secondary contact, your monitoring service will take the next action specified on your account

You and your monitoring company determine the next move.

Based on the situation, you and your monitoring service will decide what the next appropriate step is:

  • Should authorities be contacted?
  • Is the alarm a recurring issue and you know why?
  • Will you send someone to investigate and return the call to your monitoring service?
  • Would you like your alarm disabled?
  • If the alarm is occurring because of a nonthreatening issue, you can advise your monitoring service to disregard that alarm.

Once you are sure that the issue is of a nonthreatening nature, your monitoring service can make a note on your account so that you are not notified on a regular basis. In most cases, your monitoring service will work with you to determine the best solution for the false alarm.

Remember, security systems aren’t human. They are intended to protect your home from any perceived threat. Yes, this may sometimes be the family pup or even the landscaper who visits every Thursday afternoon. If you have a security system, false home alarms are bound to occur at some point.

The good news? False alarms are generally easy to troubleshoot and, as long as a home security alarm sounds when a threat is perceived, you know that things are in working order. Allow yourself to feel those warm and fuzzies when you continually get a false alarm (however difficult that may sometimes be). Okay, you’re protected. Now, what to do with that pesky false home alarm?

The best false alarm anecdotes come accompanied with stories. Here’s a couple of stories from actual home security system owners.

troubleshooting monitored home alarms

False home alarms and troubleshooting your issues with a monitored home security system

A home security system owner was faced with a persistent alarm. Dan and his wife owned a home that was protected by a monitored system. Their system consisted of window sensors, door sensors, an alarm panel, and garage door sensor. The couple had an enclosed sunroom with window sensors to protect the area. Each week on Wednesday afternoon around the same time, Dan’s wife would receive a notification that an alarm associated with a window in their sunroom had been triggered.

Having a furry family member, this couple originally assumed that the false alarm was occurring because of their pup’s antics. Each Wednesday, the non-emergency call kept coming. Eventually, the couple was able to identify that their lawn care company was coming each Wednesday at that time. The activity associated with mowing the lawn was causing the window to shake and set off the window sensor.

Because the couple did not want to leave their house unprotected during that time, they worked with ADT to find a solution. ADT placed a note on their account to leave the window sensor functioning, but to disregard that particular alarm. Dan and his wife no longer received the false alarm call and their house continued to be monitored.

How could you possibly troubleshoot a similar issue with a false home alarm? Here are some tips:

  • If you use indoor cameras, you can position them in the troublesome area to determine the cause of the alarm.
  • With the ADT Pulse app, you can check patterns from your phone to narrow when false alarms are occurring.
  • You can tie your cameras to the ADT Pulse app and check your video feed to determine why false alarms are being triggered.
  • Check the battery life on all sensors to ensure they are functioning properly.
  • Ensure your home state and away state are appropriately set.
  • Call your monitoring company to troubleshoot the false home alarm.

Keep your system fully functional with a few quick checks. Now, discover what happens with a DIY home security system.

troubleshooting diy home alarms

False home alarms and troubleshooting your issues with a DIY system

Another homeowner in the same neighborhood was faced with a different type of home security issue. Joe was also being plagued by a persistent false alarm. He and his wife installed a DIY home security system. They also had an outdoor sunroom. Like Dan and his wife, their security system used window sensors, door sensors, and garage sensors.

Joe and his wife were receiving an alarm throughout the day and on different days of the week. The couple also suspected their furry friend as the offending culprit. However, they soon discovered they were still receiving the alarm when their dog had no access to the outdoor sunroom.

After several weeks of receiving the alarm, Joe and his wife began to notice a trend. The home alarm only occurred on exceptionally cold days. Upon checking their equipment specs, they discovered that their window sensor was only rated for 0-120 degrees Fahrenheit. The cold was causing the window sensor to experience battery issues which triggered the alarm.

If you are experiencing similar issues, how can you troubleshoot your home security alarm? Here are some tips:

  • Check the battery life in all sensors.
  • Inspect for unusual conditions. For example, is it unusually cold or hot? Does it seem to be occurring in one place? Are there external conditions that could be causing the issue? Can you set up a camera to capture video?
  • Rearm your home security system.
  • Try opening and shutting the window or door to reset the sensor.
  • Check to make sure the time interval between arming your system and shutting doors is appropriately set.
  • Ensure you’re using appropriate settings.

DIY home security solutions have the benefit of a savings cost. However, when you face issues like false alarms, it can become difficult to handle the situation yourself.

monitored home security helps

How a monitored home security system helps with false home alarms

When you choose a professionally installed system, you have the added advantage of having a security advisor help you determine the best home security system for your needs. A security advisor can also help you anticipate what kinds of problems you may face and what circumstances might trigger unnecessary alarms. Using their expert knowledge, the security advisor can install the system that accommodates your specific needs and help you avoid those pesky false home alarms.

In addition, a home monitoring service can work with you to troubleshoot your false home alarms and adjust your system accordingly. And, in the unfortunate event that you are faced with a break-in, you have a team of monitors to back you up and alert the necessary emergency services.