False alarms. The idea can be a bit intimidating for new and experienced alarm owners alike, bringing concerns of the police being sent to your home when not needed. This can lead to mistakenly thinking that not setting your alarm is the right response. There are two problems with this. One, if your alarm is not set, it’s not working and doing the job it’s designed to do. Two, you may forget how to arm and disarm your alarm when you want to use it. Remember, the more you use your Advent Security System, the more it becomes second nature.
To reduce false alarms, there are other easy steps you can take. Not only will these steps help reduce false alarms, but they will help keep your system up to date and working the way it is intended.
Know Your Codes
When your alarm system is first installed, we ask you to select two codes. The first code is a four-digit user code that is input into your security system to disarm it. Knowing this code is the first step to preventing false alarms. When entering the code, take the time to make sure it is entered properly. If this user code is entered quickly and accurately once the alarm has been tripped, it will disarm the system and police will not be dispatched.
The second code you selected is your verbal passcode that can be alpha or numeric. This is the word/number you choose to identify yourself when our central station calls in. We suggest that if you are using numbers that it is different than the digital code number you use to arm/disarm your system. So, this code may not be used often as our central station is trained to call only when your Advent Security System is not disarmed properly. Because the verbal code is not used as often, you want to make sure it is something that you will remember easily. This way, if you did not input your four-digit user code quickly enough and the loud siren goes off, you can still let us know that you do not need the police sent to your home.
Also make sure the other members of your household know your two codes, too. Your family members should know how to use your alarm system correctly and disarm it properly. This lesson should include arming the system, disarming it, and communicating with our central station. You can also let our central station know the names of those in your household and their relation to you. It’s not required, but when the central station operators know who to expect, they can more effectively ensure your safety.
Ensure Accurate Information
When your alarm is accidentally set off, our central monitoring station will contact you to make sure it’s not a false alarm before dispatching the police. This means that it is vital to have accurate contact information with us. If you have a landline as your main number, we know that this will not change regularly. However, if you use a mobile or work number as a primary means of contact, please contact us immediately if your number changes so we can update your information.
Advent Security also asks for Emergency Contact information, in case you cannot be reached. Many people choose their spouse, a neighbor, or a close relative. These Emergency Contacts may not need to know your codes, but they should be someone that can check in on your home or have another way of contacting you. This way, if we cannot reach you, someone close to you can be made aware of the situation. If you do want these contacts to be able to confirm a false alarm so that the authorities are not sent, they will need to know your verbal code word/number.
It is important to keep your Emergency Contact information up to date. If you had a close neighbor as your contact, but they’ve since moved, let us know so we can remove them from the contact list. If your child is old enough now that you feel comfortable having them on the contact list, let us know so we can add them. Ensuring accurate contact information will help us at Advent serve you better.
Other Ways to Reduce False Alarms
There are many other smaller ways to keep your security system working for you and reduce false alarms. Here are a few:
- Have temporary codes for those who don’t live in your home. Many security systems now have the option of creating secondary or even temporary codes to disarm the alarm. With these, you don’t have to feel insecure about giving your code to baby sitters, pet sitters, or guests. Ask us if your alarm system has the option for a temporary code and learn more about its uses.
- Inform your guests. It makes sense to inform your family about how your alarm system works. They will live with it every day! But if you have guests in your home, they may not understand how to arm, disarm, or work your alarm system. Even if they have one in their own home, your system might be slightly different. Let them know when it’s on or how to tell if the alarm is on and how to disarm the system when entering your home.
- Only share your code with trusted friends. Ideally, you should keep your password and disarming codes as secret as possible. However, you may need someone outside your home to know your code. If you do share it, only share it with someone you trust. The less, the better!
- Keep your equipment up to date. Not only should you keep your contact list accurate and up to date, but your security equipment as well. This doesn’t mean you need to constantly upgrade to the latest gear, but you should perform routine maintenance to ensure your system is working properly and efficiently. You don’t want something to trigger a false alarm because of a small equipment problem! Read this article on how to test your alarm system and let us know if anything isn’t working properly in your home.
- Know your different alarm settings and options. Did you know that your alarm can be set for being away or at home? When your Advent Security System was installed, there are different settings that were explained to you. This means that you can set it to keep your home secure while you’re at home, without triggering the motion alarms. Some systems have options for pets as well. Alarm.com‘s Smart Security even has options where an image can be sent to you when there’s motion detected inside your home. Contact us if you would like to know about these options!
- Remember that your alarm is set. At the end of the day, the best way to reduce false alarms is to remember when it’s set. The best way to do this is to make it a habit to set your Advent Security alarm every time you leave your home. If it’s always set, it will be a routine to disarm it when you arrive. This way, even if you’re in a rush, it’s just another step to arriving home.
At the end of the day, sometimes unexpected things happen. Hopefully, with these tips, you can reduce any stress around arming and disarming your alarm. Remember, not only will your home and family be more secure the more you use your Advent Security System, but it will become easier and second nature to use!