Simple ways to prevent
false alarms

8 simple ways to prevent false alarms

Prevent false alarms with our tips. Read our tips to keep your home secure and minimise false alarms.

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  1. Know your codes / Use your Key Tag Correctly.

An overwhelming majority of false alarms are caused by the user entering an incorrect keypad code or not using the key tag correctly. To prevent false alarms, create an alarm code that every member of the family can remember. Use caution that it isn’t a code the burglar might guess (such as your house number). If you change the code, inform everyone who knows the code.  As it’s easy to forget who has your alarm’s code / key tag, we advise you keep a list. When using the Key tag or keypad code always wait for the disarm acknowledgement tone (single acknowledgement tone) before progressing further into the house. 

  1. Keep pets in their place and use pet friendly sensors.

Pets often wander throughout your home during the day. When they do, they can set off motion detectors that activate your home’s alarm. Rather than forgoing the use of burglar detecting motion sensors, we use “pet friendly” sensors as standard. While these motion sensors are designed to ignore the presence of pets up to 18kg in weight, they are not pet proof as their use is subject to certain criteria being met (See Pet Section)

  1. Secure all windows and doors.

Keeping windows and doors shut is not only a smart security practice, it can also help prevent false alarms. Before you activate your home security system, be sure all windows and doors are shut. Prior to opening a window or door, disarm your system.

  1. Educate house guests / household members.

To minimize the chance of a false alarm, let visitors / household members know your home security system is armed. If your guest / household member is staying with you for a while, be sure he or she feels comfortable with how to arm and disarm your home security system. Don’t forget that the babysitter, house cleaner and dog walker also need to be trained how to operate your home security system. You’ll want to be sure everyone who uses the alarm knows their alarm code and verification code and has the phone number to the monitoring station in the event that the alarm is accidentally activated.

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  1. Watch for stray objects near motion detectors.

As we mentioned, Fido and his furry friends can activate a false alarm, but so can stray objects. If you’re receiving a false alarm due to motion sensor activation, take a close look at items that may be hanging or placed near the sensor. For example, when your home’s heat or air conditioning turns on, it could blow curtains or plant leaves into the area protected by a sensor. Helium balloons have a bad reputation for activating motion sensors; keep them tied down in an area that isn’t protected by a motion sensor.  Also ensure sensors are regularly cleaned and free from cobwebs and insects.

  1. Replace batteries regularly.

Your alarm system / provider will warn you when the system batteries become weak. Changing the system batteries on a regular basis can help prevent a false alarm. You’ll be happy to know that our wireless home security systems are fitted with batteries that can last up to three years, however misuse and the associated significant false activations can significantly reduce the batteries lifespan.

      7. Stay in touch with Mother Nature.

Sometimes acts of nature will set off your alarm. Strong winds, electrical storms and even warm weather can result in a false alarm. If a storm is brewing, be aware of the affects this may have on your home security system.  If it’s hot or humid and you normally leave your windows open while away to cool the house down, be aware that even a light breeze blowing against your curtains / blinds will result in movement that may result in a false activation.

  1. Report suspected damaged or faulty equipment.

False alarms are typically due to human error. In fact, roughly 70 percent of false alarms are attributed to user mistakes. But if you think a false alarm is caused by a malfunction of your home security system, contact us immediately. A representative from PhoneWatch will be glad to check the status of your alarm system.

The most fundamental way to prevent false alarms is by using your home security system on a regular basis. When your family uses the security system consistently, they’ll get comfortable with how it works, and that means there’s less likelihood of a false alarm