False Alarm Prevention Tips

Alarm User Responsibilities

Owners of intrusion alarms for a home or business take on a few responsibilities to help prevent false alarms.  In addition to registration, Owasso's alarm ordinance reads as follows:

SECTION 10-805         RESPONSIBILITIES OF POLICE ALARM USER

Every Alarm User shall:         

1. Inspect, maintain, and repair a Police Alarm Device to ensure its proper operation.

2. Educate and train all employees and other persons who may in the course of their activities be in a position to accidentally activate a Police Alarm Device.

3. Assure that a responsible person responds to every activation of a Police Alarm Device within twenty minutes after being requested to respond by the City’s police communications center.

4.  Ensure that their Alarm Provider attempts to verify any Intrusion Alarm with the Alarm User prior to making an Alarm Dispatch Request to the Police Department.  The Alarm User shall provide their Alarm Provider with at least two contact telephone numbers for verification.

Tips to Prevent False Alarms

No one wants false alarms.  They type up emergency responder resources and can get expensive in the form of false alarm response fees.  Here are some simple guidelines to help you reduce false alarms.

HOW CAN YOU PREVENT RESIDENTIAL FALSE ALARMS?

  1. Lock all doors and windows.
  2. Ensure moving items such as balloons, curtains, decorations, and pets are not placed in the path of motion detectors.
    Know how to cancel an alarm dispatch request.
  3. Educate all alarm system users on the proper use of the alarm system.
  4. Schedule a service call if the alarm is not working properly.
  5. Notify your monitoring company if you remodel, change or upgrade phone systems including DSL, VoIP, FIOS.
  6. Update your contact information with your security company annually or if you hire domestic help, get a new pet or plan to sell your house.
  7. Instruct your monitoring company not to dispatch law enforcement on power outages, weather-related signals, low battery signals or heat loss sensors.
  8. Request your monitoring company to use Enhanced Call Verification (ECV), which requires making two calls to a responsible party prior to requesting a law enforcement dispatch. (This is also required by CIty Ordinance.)

COMMON CAUSES OF RESIDENTIAL FALSE ALARMS

  1. Inadequate training of all those allowed access to your alarm site.
  2. Domestic help, house cleaners, house sitters, contractors, lawn care workers, extended family members, and pet sitters.
    Weak or depleted system batteries.
  3. Open, unlocked, loose fitting or defective doors/windows.
  4. Drafts from heaters/air conditioning systems and open windows move plants, curtains, balloons, etc.
    Wandering pets.

WHEN INSTALLING & ACTIVATING AN ALARM SYSTEM

  1. Remember to Register your alarm.
  2. Completely understand how the alarm system works; what it does and does not do.
  3. Accept the responsibility to keep your alarm system in proper operating condition.
  4. Ensure that all users of your system are provided thorough instruction on using and testing the system and canceling unnecessary false alarm dispatch requests.
  5. Ask your alarm company for written instructions and a physical demonstration of the use of your alarm system.

KNOW WHAT TO DO IF YOU SET YOUR ALARM OFF ACCIDENTALLY

  1. First, Don't panic.  Carefully enter your disarm code to reset your system.
  2. Wait for your alarm monitoring company to call and give them your password or ID number to cancel.
  3. Do not leave your home or business until you have talked with your alarm monitoring company!  If they do not call you, have their phone number posted by the alarm control panel and contact them to cancel.
  4. DO NOT call the police department to cancel the dispatch.  The police dispatcher does not have your cancel code and has no way to know if you are under duress and being forced to call.  Only the alarm company who reported the call can cancel the response.


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