What causes security alarm system false alarms and how I stop them?

Posted by Kevin Cameron on Jan 2, 2020 9:16:35 AM

False alarms from your security system can be more than a nuisance. The most common causes of false alarms can be a little difficult to determine.  The good news is there are a few things that you can do yourself to prevent or stop them.  The same principles apply to home security systems and business security systems.  Here are 6 things you can check or do yourself prior to contacting your security company.


1. Environmental Causes

This is a common cause of false alarms for security systems. Make sure you check for open windows and doors, ceiling fans basically anything that isn't usually on.  Air conditioners are not usually a problem if the motion detector is not installed directly beside them. 

A question I am often asked is do motion detectors work though glass such as a window or glass door? The short answer is no. If they are a dual technology motion detector the Microwave potion might but the Infrared portion will not.

2. Vermon

Vermon are another common cause.  Check for signs of Ants, Geckos Silverfish, Cockroaches and other creepy crawlies. 

We recommend spraying around  the motion detector prior to contacting us for a service on your alarm. (Caution: do not spray on the detector as this may cause damage).

3. Check the system’s installation
If the system has been installed for while the installation is probably ok.  If your system is still under warranty you should call your installation company as they may need to relocate the detector.

4. When is a alarm system service required?
It is very important to test your alarm system periodically to make sure that it communicates properly to the 24 hour monitoring centre. If you have a monitored alarm, call our operators who can help you to test the system while you are on the phone. It is also important that you follow the recommended maintenance schedule.   

We recommend homes hare their alarms and CCTV service every 12 months and businesses every 6 months depending on their risk factors.

Siren tampers are a common cause of false alarms for security systems and should be checked during the alarm service.

5. Wireless alarm system equipment

Low batteries in security devices can causes false alarms as well as other faults.  Make sure any wireless device batteries are replaced as every few years.  Motion detector batteries usually last 2 years or more depending on the motion detector and how often they are triggered. 

6.  Do need to replace a motion detector?

Check the sensitivity of the sensor.  Does the door only need to moved slightly for it to go into alarm? Does the motion detector seemed to be not sensitive enough or too sensitive?

If the above points have been checked replacing the sensor maybe a good option if the sensor is showing signs of age.  A poor detection range is usually a good indicator that it requires replacing.  

I would recommend a licenced security company does this. You can ask the technician if they believe adjusting the sensitivity is worth a try prior to replacing.  I would only recommend this if the sensor is still under warranty.  I ask all my service technicians the swap the sensor with another existing one that hasn't caused false alarms as this will rule out environmental causes as well.


Prior to contacting Four Walls Security go though the above list and have the zone number that false alarmed ready for us so the technician will know where the alarms are coming from.  Once you have contacted us we will run though the above list with you prior the arranging a technician.

Topics: Business Security, Service, Maintenance and Repairs, Home Security


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