Simple Ways to Prevent False Alarms

Simple Ways to Prevent False Alarms

False alarms are not only irritating, they can result in hundreds of dollars worth of false alarm fees. In North Bay, By Law 2016-55 states that Fire & Emergency Services will bill for a false automatic monitored alarm after the first occurrence in a calendar year.  The 2024 rate is $559.86 per truck.  Not only could there be charges but a false alarm ties up Emergency Services so they are not available to respond to real emergencies. 

Change your clock, change your batteries.

Test you alarms monthly.  Learn to associate Fall Day Light Savings Time to replacing your batteries.  On non-sealed alarms replace the batteries at least once a year.

Alarms do have expiry dates!

The general rule of thumb is that smoke alarms last for 10 years and Carbon Monoxide alarms last for 7 years.  Consult the manual that came with the alarm.  Different factors may shorten that life so it is important to test your alarms monthly. 

Maintain your equipment.

False alarms are typically due to human error. In fact, roughly 70 percent of false alarms are attributed to user mistakes. But if you think a false alarm is caused by a malfunction of your home security system, contact a professional service company immediately. Remember to call your monitoring company BEFORE and after you run a fire drill or perform maintenance.

Protect your equipment

Use pull station covers to protect against malicious or accidental damage.  Some pull station covers are equipped with an alarm that sounds when the case is opened, a deterrent for malicious activation and a double alarm when it is an emergency.

Renovations can cause dust to settle in alarms tricking the device into thinking that it is smoke.

Installation is important

Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when installing alarms.