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Reducing False Alarms

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Responding to false alarms is costly to citizens, to the City, and to the Police Department. Listed below are some tips that can help prevent false alarms and possibly save you money in the form of false alarm fines.

If your alarm is accidentally activated (false alarm activation), do not panic, do not call 911, but instead call your alarm monitoring company immediately. Give them your pass code and/or password and ask that they not dispatch the Police to your address.

  • Make sure all alarm users and key holders at your address are trained to use the system.
  • You can arrange to have your alarm monitoring station call you or another designated person first instead of the Police when your alarm is activated.
  • If you expect workers, real estate agents, delivery personnel, etc. do not set your alarm. If you must set your alarm, meet the people at your site to deactivate the alarm. Remember that you are responsible for their actions. You can also arrange with your alarm company to have separate codes for them.
  • If your system sends a silent panic/duress signal when an incorrect code is entered, understand that your alarm company may not call you to verify the alarm. You should contact your alarm company if the alarm is false and have them to cancel the Police.
  • Be sure that doors and windows are tight fitting. Adjust hinges and strike plates on doors, so they move no more than ¼ inches when pulled or pushed on.
  • Have an arming delay of at least 45 seconds on all doors.
  • Do not leave doors and windows open or unlocked while you are away. Be sure all doors and windows are properly closed and locked prior to arming the alarm system.
  • Do not leave anything that will move (pets, balloons, drapes, fans, etc…) in a room that is protected with a motion detector.
  • Have the sensitivity settings on glass-break sensors adjusted so that sounds, such as thunder and outside construction, do not activate them.
  • You can arrange with your alarm company not to dispatch the Police for interior motion sensor activations without having other sensors activated (i.e. door activation with motion sensor activation).
  • If storms or brief power outages of 4 hours or less activate your alarm system, your system needs to be checked by a professional. These may be caused from dead/low batteries. Alarms during brief power outages cannot be waived. Have your alarm system checked and tested regularly.
  • Call your alarm company after each false alarm to determine the cause of the false alarm. You may continue to have false alarms until the problem is repaired or adjusted.
  • If a fence encloses your permitted location, the Police will need someone to respond so they could properly check the premises. Please ensure that your call list is up to date with the Greenville False Alarm Reduction Unit and your alarm company.
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