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 What happens if I have a false alarm?

[A]   If you are onsite when an alarm occurs, all you need to do is turn off the system right away and a cancel signal will be sent, resulting in a " no dispatch event ".  If the alarm occurs while your away, the central station will call the premises to verify the event. If there is no contact made at the premises there may be a second call required by your police dept, before requesting a police dispatch. After the required steps are performed, a dispatch is requested. Many jurisdictions have alarm system ordnances which may require a permit fees or other verifications, and usually allow a small number of activations before corrective action or reinstatement is required.
    Benchmark understands the importance of tracking and reducing false alarm activity.  To this end, all account event history is reviewed throughout the week, and customers are contacted to help Benchmark in the problem solving process to minimize false alarms.  We've found that this is an effective way to control false alarms as well as be actively involved with customers for system use and education.

 What are the causes of false alarms?

[A]  Todays emergency response agencies are acutely aware of the overwhelming statistics regarding false alarms.  Their resources for community support are seriously affected, from responding to invalid or false alarm activity. The problem has become serious enough to cause authorities to enact ordinances that define limits on occurrences and enforce corrections.
    Many authorities acknowledge that this problem has been developing for many years and cannot be resolved overnight. The good news is that authorities, security professionals, and manufacturers are working to affect this problem by addressing what many studies have shown as the most common causes of unnecessary alarms.

    You may be familiar with some of these causes.

Pets, Insects, Ventilation flow
Moving or Falling Objects
Holiday or Party Decorations
Entry & Exiting mistakes
Invalid codes or passwords
Inadequate Maintenance or Training
Lightning Strikes, Thunderstorms

    Once again there is good news.  Today’s technology now provides solutions to many of the most common false alarm occurrences.  Here is a summary of features available that can significantly reduce the likelihood of unnecessary false alarms!

Dual Technology Motion Sensors
    Combination Infrared and Microwave Sensors can be substituted for existing single technology sensors.  Dual Technology sensors require that each sensor detects its respective disturbance to cause an alarm condition.  These types of sensors are more resistant to false alarms.

Cross Zone Alarm Configuring
    This method of alarm prevention was used originally in computer room fire alarm/extinguishing systems.  It requires 2 different alarm zones to be activated in a short period of time to generate a full alarm event.

Exit Error Warning Logic
    This system feature is designed to reduce false alarms when a system user takes to long to exit or when exit points are left open after exiting.  If a perimeter door or interior sensor is faulted at the end of the exit delay period, the system will initiate an entry delay for reentry and sound the siren & keypad audibles to warn users of an abnormal condition and to reset the system.  No alarms are sent yet.  If no one resets the system, all faulted perimeter & interior sensors will be temporarily bypassed during this armed period.  All other zones and sensors will be armed.  The system can send an exception signal to the central station to advise customer representatives of the abnormal condition.

Alarm Cancel Function
    If an authorized user turns the system off quickly after causing an alarm, the Central Station will receive a cancellation signal which does not require emergency response.

    As you can see, these preventative features when applied correctly can substantially reduce the risk of unnecessary false alarms.  If you would like to find out more about a new or upgraded system,
Contact Benchmark for a free survey and estimate.