False Alarms and Wasted Resources


False Alarm is a major security problem.  A clueless person might simply think that occurrences of false alarms cannot possibly hurt anybody. However, the truth can never be farther away from this simpleminded thinking. False alarms always result to wasted time, effort and resources. It has become such a nuisance that police forces in some states have established laws that fine home and business establishment owners a significant amount for repeated instances of false alarms. We might think that this is too harsh particularly since having an alarm system signifies nothing but good intention and protecting one’s safety and security. For sure, that cannot be wrong. However, we would see the rationale for this once we really get to know how wasteful and dangerous, in the long term, false alarms are.

false alarm

False alarms are usually triggered by factors which can be easily categorized as User Errors and Faulty Equipment. There are some other minor causes like alarm control center and alarm line errors and bad weather, but the first two are the major ones which falsely trigger alarms.  User errors include house owners who do not fully understand how the alarm systems work who might open a window or a door without knowing that it was armed or keying in a wrong password, children or pets who cluelessly  trigger alarm.  Faulty equipment refers to improperly installed alarm and security devices, alarm having low batteries or a simply malfunctioning system.

In one year alone, it is recorded that the public loses hundreds of millions of dollars that got spent on the police fire department responding to false alarms. Although initially this number may seem too much, we soon realize the correctness of this statistic with the help of a report showing that there are approximately 6,000 cases of false alarms which are recorded daily in the United States, and this number is on a continuous rise, perhaps because there is also a continuous increase in the number of people using alarm systems. This is made worse by the realization that there are lost opportunity costs since the police are unavailable to respond or work on actual crime problems because they had to respond to cases of false alarm. An alarm causes people to act hastily and accidents have happened to firefighters and police while they are on their way to respond to false alarms. Firefighters and the police force risk their lives every time they respond to alarm calls. There have been instances when vehicles and equipments were damaged and lives were lost.  So as much as false alarm incidents are funny and embarrassing and sometimes, innocent, there are some serious consequences.

While some states have continuously devised methods on how to curb down the instances of false alarms, to the homeowners, avoiding instances of false alarms and thus avoiding fines still remains quite tricky. Some people, upon an instance of false alarm, would choose to permanently deactivate their alarm system thinking that it is malfunctioning. This is very dangerous since there is a chance that the alarms weren’t actually false alarms. There is a probability, although a rare one, that someone was actually trying to break in to your house. So before deciding to turn off your whole security and alarm system, why not do the most logical thing to make the sure the whole system works fine? Make sure everyone in the household is well educated about how the system works. In events of accidentally triggering the alarm, take the proper steps to disarm it and inform the control center so they can check the effectiveness of the system. If you ever enter a wrong code, use the instructions supplied by the manufacturer on how to be able to rekey the code.

It is undeniable that false alarms waste too much money, time and human effort. These are the resources which we direly need in instances of real emergencies. However, we have to make sure that we take the most rational and less risky of method of solving it, otherwise we negate the very purpose of having a security and alarm system.