TAKING ACTION: Easy steps to prevent security system “false alarms”

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – In 2013, Madison County Sheriff`s deputies and volunteer fire department emergency responders were called out on more than 1,200 false alarms.

Most due to faulty systems, bought for a low price. They are often the cause of false alarms due to dying batteries, aging programs, or faulty sensors.

“Excessive ‘False Alarms’ causing strain for Madison County Sheriff’s deputies and volunteer firefighters”)

There have been situations where  deputies have run more than 24 false alarms to the same location in the span of only 48 hours.

But what may be a cost-saving measure for a family, often comes back to cost emergency responders time and money, while also putting their lives at risk on the roads.

While Huntsville and Madison cities have ordinances allowing them to fine people who set off numerous false alarms,  Madison County doesn’t have the authority to implement those laws.  Madison County Commission Chair Dale Strong has reached out to Representative Phil Williams in hopes he will take local legislative action.

In the meantime, in WHNT News 19 is taking action to show you how you can make sure you’re buying a reliable home security system.

Put simply: You want to do your homework.

Michele Mason, President of the Better Business Bureau of North Alabama points consumers to the BBB website.

” You can read complaints online from the BBB or call our staff if it’s an issue with the quality of the products they’re installing,” said Mason.

With a click of a button you can see a company’s rating – from A+ to F – or find a company that’s BBB Accredited.

“We do get complaints about the system itself,” said Madison. “Make sure the censors are of high quality, that you don’t have an alarm going off because a system failed.”

Another leading cause of false alarms is owners who don’t fully understand how their system works. Once you find a reputable company to hire, make sure the team who installs the system does not leave before training you on the system at least twice. Some companies will return for a second visit after installation to make sure you aren’t having any problems with the system.

Get the system serviced by the company annually to make sure the batteries and programs are up to date. A security system can send off a false signal because of something as simple as dying batteries.

A quality security system can work well for decades if it is serviced yearly.  However, some lower-cost systems have a lower life-expectancy and can start to glitch after only a few years.

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