Tips for Avoiding False Alarms

Sterling Police Department
  • First and foremost, be sure that your alarm is registered with the Sterling Police Department.
  • Know what kind of system you are buying and be sure that your alarm company instructs you thoroughly on how to operate it. It is important to know how to de-activate an alarm, cancel false alarms promptly, and identify maintenance problems.
  • Understand how the police are called:
    • When your alarm activates, the alarm will "seize" your telephone line and dial the alarm company's monitoring station. During this time your telephone will be inoperable.
    • The monitoring company will then call your premise to verify if the alarm is false or legitimate. If the alarm was accidental, it is imperative that you stay off of your landline telephone until you receive the call from your monitoring company.
    • Once the monitoring company verifies that the alarm was false, they must notify the Sterling Police immediately to cancel the alarm.
    • If the monitoring company cannot verify the validity of the alarm, they will notify the Sterling Police to request a police response.
  • If you accidentally activate your alarm
    • Stay off the phone and wait for the alarm company to call your residence.
    • Have your password available.
    • Do not leave your residence until you are sure the police have been cancelled.  Remember, only the monitoring company, not the alarm user, can make cancellations.
  • If someone is trying to break into your house or you need help: DO NOT USE THE PANIC ALARM unless you cannot get to a telephone or unless using a telephone would cause you to be put in danger. 911 is a much quicker way to notify the police and unlike any alarm system it is the only way to be connected directly to the police.
  • Only those who know how to operate your alarm system should be given a key to your residence. Instruct all family members, employees and service personnel on proper use of the alarm system and be sure they understand the cancellation process as well. Service personnel such as pest control, housekeeping and contractors are responsible for a large number of false alarms. If they are permitted access to your residence when you are not there, they should be thoroughly educated and instructed on how your system works.
  • Have all loose fitting doors and windows with alarm sensors tightened. A loose fit may break the sensor contact even without opening the door or window.
  • Keep pets, balloons, fans, curtains, seasonal decorations or any other object capable of moving away from alarm sensors.
  • Have your alarm company inspect and perform routine maintenance on your system. Notify them immediately if you think that your system is not functioning properly.