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Causes of a false alarm on a home security alarm

Updated April 17, 2017

Protecting your home with a security system is certainly a wise choice, but eventually you're likely to experience a false alarm. False alarms with home security systems are common and usually caused by user error. Tripping your own home alarm on accident can lead to an embarrassing and costly situation if police arrive and decide to issue a fine as a result.

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Open Doors and Windows

Programming an alarm while leaving open doors and windows in your home usually triggers a false alarm within minutes of activation. Detectors on the open window or door signal a break in the code, which trips the security alarm. Failing to close a door all the way can also trigger a false alarm if a dog or cat happens to nudge the door open. Leaving a window slightly ajar could also create a wind draft, which can trigger alarm detectors.

Friends and Neighbors

Failing to inform trusted relatives, friends and neighbours of your home alarm system could result in a false alarm upon entrance. A babysitter, or even family members living in the home, may occasionally forget about the programmed alarm and accidentally set it off while exiting the door. Friends and family members should know where to find the home security box and understand how to program, activate and cancel the alarm.

Defective Equipment

Faulty security equipment and even low battery life can contribute to a false alarm. Most system problems occur due to maintenance neglect. Defective equipment could stem from electrical problems, trouble with a home telephone line, overly sensitive alarm sensors or improper installation. Overly sensitive sensors that consistently result in false alarms from pets or ceiling fans require professional adjustment by the alarm security company.

Natural Causes

Unpredictable natural causes can impact interior and exterior alarm sensors and trigger a false alarm. Heavy winds and rain storms rattle windows and walls enough to set off motion detectors and sensors around the house. Heavy storms with intense winds can also enter poorly insulated doors and windows and disturb alarm sensors. Insects and spider webs occasionally cover the middle of motion detectors. Exterior alarm equipment and sensors should remain free of dirt, insects and spider webs.

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About the Author

Matt Goetz began writing in 2007 with work appearing on various websites. He is a professional painter who owns and operates a residential painting business, and also has experience in home remodeling. Goetz obtained an associate degree from the Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee trade school in Berkley, Ill.

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