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City Departments MenuContact the City
40 Ways to Eliminate False Alarms

Download a PDF copy of this page. 

Alarm Installation

1. Alarm should be installed by a qualified company, licensed within the City of Peoria.
2. Check your Alarm Company’s references and get their business address.  Ensure they are reputable and have an established history in Arizona.
3. Install dual technology sensors whenever possible. This installation requires more than one type of detector such as motion and door contact.  Both must be tripped before an alarm signal is activated.
4. Make sure all motion detectors have a second sensor on the same circuit to support the first sensor activation and avoid false alarms.
5. Install an alarm system with voice communication. This allows the Alarm Company to hear premise activity and/or speak with individual to determine if help is needed.  
6. Verify installation is in accordance with The National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association Standard (at least 22AWG conductors).
7. Program door alarm sensors with at least a 45 second delay before activation.

Alarm Systems Operations   

8. Make sure panic buttons are not accessible to curious children.
9. Have your alarm system maintained and inspected at least once each year. During this inspection, make sure all contacts on doors and windows connect properly and all batteries (including backup power supply) are checked or replaced.
10. Periodically inspect your motion detectors, alarm screen, door/window contacts and any other alarm components for dust, spider webs, moisture or anything that might interfere with proper operation.
11. In the event of a false alarm, try to determine the nature of cause and how you can avoid a repeat occurrence.
12. Be especially watchful and alert after any unexplained alarm activation.
13. Rehearse alarm cancellation procedures with anyone who uses your system.
14. Designate a location the alarm system user’s manual will be available for all users.
15. Immediately contact Alarm Company and/or police to cancel false alarms.
16. Do not use 1+ duress alarms.  This is where one number similar to speed dialing signals duress and overrides the usual alarm activation code.
17. Upon opening your business (besides deactivating alarm system) turn off answering service so if necessary the Alarm Company and/or other support agencies may contact you.  This can help businesses avoid false alarm fees incurred from Alarm Company requesting police response when they are unable to contact and verify authorized access during alarm activation.  
18. Make sure that your alarm system has features in place that can send a signal to your Alarm Company in case your residence or business experiences a power outage.
19. Ensure that the alarm system has adequate backup power system in the event of public power interruptions such as storm damages to the power line and equipment.  If there is a foreseeable power outage expected to last more than 10 hours, inform your alarm company.

Alarm Company Dealings  

20. Have your Alarm Company provide you with orientation and training.
21. Make sure your Alarm Company verifies all irregular alarm activations.
22. Instruct your Alarm Company to work with you the first 1 to 4 weeks after installation by contacting you prior to contacting the Police. This will give you time to familiarize your-self with the new alarm system, minimize user errors, and avoid false alarm fines.
23. Take it upon yourself to call your Alarm Company monthly to test your alarm system.
24. When you schedule construction or repairs on your home or business, alert your Alarm Company and coordinate a process to maintain a secure premise to avoid false alarms.
25. Give your Alarm Company detailed instruction on who to call when your alarm is activated, and what they should do when they receive an alarm signal.
26. Periodically check with Alarm Company to ensure that your call list is current.
27. Set up a tier system with Alarm Company to contact you or your designee(s) prior to contacting the Police.  This way you determine if Police intervention is needed.  This structure will also help you avoid false alarms fees.
28. Businesses should notify Alarm Company of unscheduled openings or closures.
29. Notify your Alarm Company if you will be away for an extended period. Also notify them when you return. Give them a revised call list for the period you are away.
30. Verify alarm cancellation (false activation) procedures with your Alarm Company.  Use a password you will not forget.  If necessary write down and keep in a safe place.
31. Confirm in writing any unusual agreements with Alarm Company.

Home and Building Management

32. Make sure pets cannot access or roam in room(s) that has motion detectors.
33. Be aware of changes in your environment and how they affect your alarm system.  New pets, design changes, new houseplants, air conditioning usage, and promotional or holiday displays can activate an alarm system.
34. Do not leave balloons or other moveable items in rooms with motion sensors.
35. Quickly repair broken windows or holes in roofs to ensure birds, cats, or other animals do not enter and set off your alarm.
36. Install and use dead-bolt locks.
37. Eliminate rodent, other pest, or insect problem from your home or business.  These are common causes of false alarm activations.
38. Ensure everyone using your alarm system has been properly trained and knows password. This includes employees, janitors, domestic help, etc.
39. To avoid false alarms due to wind or someone jiggling your door (such as a security guard) make sure all your doors and windows latch securely.
40. Call a reliable locksmith to evaluate the locking devices in your home or business.

Finally, if you have questions or concerns call your Alarm Company or the Peoria Police Alarm Coordinator at 623-773-7017.   

These tips are suggestions and may not apply to all alarm systems or situations.