Stay Calm, it’s a False Alarm!
Intruder alarms are designed to be activated by Intruders, however, there are many factors that can cause an alarm to be tripped accidentally. Hoot Fire & Security only install reliable and high quality intruder systems. With monitoring and maintenance this ensures that these high levels are sustained over the life of the intruder alarm. However, even with these measures an accidental activation is still possible, especially in commercial properties with multiple keyholders.
At Hoot Fire & Security we want to support our customers through knowledge and training to reduce the risk of, and ultimately to avoid, activating a false alarm.
False alarms are not only annoying for those in the vicinity, but in some local authority areas a nuisance alarm may contravene a noise and nuisance act. On a personal level repeated false alarms may cause users to loose trust in their system, leading to reduced use of the alarm and ultimately leaving the premises at risk.
Many of our commercial customers have police response monitoring on their premises, activation of police response caused by a false alarm three times in a rolling twelve month period will result in the removal of police response to the premises. It is therefore important to know how to reduce the risk of activating a false alarm.
Hoot Fire & Security‘s tips to reduce and avoid false alarms.
- Locking up procedure
- Building Works
- Equipment Triggers
We offer full operational training on completion of each Hoot Fire & Security intruder system. This includes how to;
- set and unset the system,
- general operating,
- changing codes,
- carrying out event logs,
- fault diagnosis,
- adding and deleting fobs,
- how to reset the alarm after an activation.
Each new installation comes with a user guide to keep for reference. If any of our customers require a new user guide please let us know as we can provide you with copies.
Alarms installed in commercial premises often have multiple authorised alarm users. Each authorised user needs to understand how to operate the systems basic functions to avoid falsely tripping the alarm. It is also important for these users to understand the significance of avoiding false alarms. Remember a nuisance alarm may contravene either the Control of Noise Order 1981, The Environmental Protection act 1990, the Clean Neighbourhood and Environmental Act 2006 or Section 9 of the Noise and Statutory Nuisance Act 1993 as well as the risk of police response being withdrawn.
If your have a problem with false activations through human error, you can issue each user with their own alarm code or fob. This allows you to identify anyone who trips the alarm and give them further training.
Locking up Procedure
It is advisable to have a locking up procedure to check for potential problems before leaving the premises. Before the alarm is set the building needs to be checked to ensure that no one is inside, movement sensors are not obscured, all windows and doors are closed and that no heaters have been left on.
Keyholders are those who are allocated as contacts in the event of an alarm activation. We will work with you on takeover or handover of each project to collect the relevant information.
A few tips for Keyholders.
- At least two designated keyholders should be supplied for your premises.
- Each keyholder should be fully trained on using the system.
- If any keyholder’s information changes or a new keyholder is required please contact Hoot Fire & Security with the updated information.
- If a keyholder is unavailable due to sickness or holiday again we need to be informed at Hoot Fire & Security. We may require a temporary keyholder for these circumstances.
- All keyholders must be contactable by telephone and be able to attend the premises within 20 minutes.
- Each authorised keyholder must know the number for the monitoring station and your site ID number and password to call and deactivate a false alarm.
Faults are an indication that your alarm isn’t functioning correctly. If your alarm shows any faults please inform Hoot Fire & Security as soon as they become apparent so we can assist in fixing them. This will stop them from escalating and causing a false alarm.
If you suspect any part of your intruder system is damaged this needs checking by us to ensure your system is working fully.
In between maintenance visits you can test most movement sensors yourself by walking past and checking that the indicator light on the sensor is activated, if it is not working properly we can fix this for you.
Your contract will state how frequently your alarm system requires a maintenance visit. As part of this visit your Hoot Fire & Security engineer will inspect, check and test all elements of your alarm system including the battery. A flat battery is often the cause of false alarms when there is a power failure. It is important to continue to have you alarm regularly maintained to keep it in full working order. If you are on a maintenance contract we will contact you to arrange a suitable time to carry out our checks.
If you are planning any building or electrical works please inform us before work commences as it may affect the operation of your alarm system.
Please be mindful that decorations, such as Christmas and party decorations, helium balloons, hanging marketing signage dangling from the ceiling can activate motion detectors accidentally and trigger a false alarm. If you have any concerns about this please contact us.
Damage to or obstruction of equipment itself can cause a false alarm, things to look out for include:
- Dirty movement sensors – Sensors need to be kept clean to function properly. Dirt and dust can encourage spiders and other insects to take shelter.
- Detectors or sensors have become loose – have any of the sensors been knocked?
- Doors and Windows – Doors and windows should remain closed and locked when the alarm is set. Older doors and windows may become loose and move to activate sensors.
- Obscuring or covering of sensors – shelving, signage, and decorations are all things that can obscure a sensor, reduce its range and trigger a false alarm.
- Damaged Equipment – if any of the alarm system has been accidentally damaged this may cause a false alarm.
- Change of use in a room – Different sensors are installed for different uses. An example might be a pet having access to a room which it normally didn’t and it is activating an alarm.
If you are interested in an intruder alarm system, would like you current system maintained, or upgrading to monitoring please contact our friendly team.