Bakersfield False Alarm Reduction Program
False Alarm Prevention Tips:
The Bakersfield Police Department encourages owners of alarm systems to properly use and maintain their systems. Alarm systems are a security tool intended to make us feel safe while protecting our loved ones and property.
False alarms occur when the system is not properly used or maintained. Listed below is information and guidelines that will save police resources for true emergencies and improve the overall effectiveness of your alarm system.
What is a false alarm?
The Bakersfield Municipal Code defines a false alarm as: “an alarm system that emits light or sound or transmits a signal or message resulting in a response by the police department when the situation does not require such response” BMC 5.08.010(m). Bakersfield police responded to more than 12,000 alarms in 2011.
How can I help prevent false alarms?
Ensure that everyone in your household or business has been properly trained on your alarm system. Make sure your alarm system is in good working order, and inspected periodically by your alarm company.
Ways to eliminate false alarms:
- Have your alarm installed by a qualified company.
- If you accidentally set off your alarm, let your alarm company know immediately; know and be ready to provide your password.
- Make sure all alarm users and key-holders are trained to use the system and know the codes to arm and disarm the system including how to cancel a false alarm.
- Do not leave anything that will move (pets, plants, balloons, drapes, blinds, etc.) in a room protected by a motion detector. Ensure there are no drafts which may move items in these rooms.
- Set entry and exit door alarms to have at least a 45 second delay before they activate.
- Be sure that doors and windows are tight fitting. Adjust hinges and strike plates so the door only moves ¼ inch when pulled or pushed.
- Lock all protected doors and windows. 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.
- Inspect your motion detectors, door and window contacts, alarm screens or any other alarm component for dust, spider webs, moisture or anything else that might interfere with proper operation.
- Have the sensitivity setting on motion detectors and glass-break sensors adjusted so that inadvertent sounds or items do not activate them.
- Ensure your alarm company has more than one phone number to reach you or someone you designate when possible.
- Call your alarm company after each false alarm to determine the cause of the alarm. You may continue to have false alarms until the problem is addressed.
- Alarm system equipment should be routinely inspected and maintained by qualified personnel.
- Notify your alarm company of any and all changes (e.g. name changes, new employees, termination of employees, unscheduled business openings and closings, etc.)
Did you know?
- The three main reasons for false alarms are:
- User error, more than 80% of all false alarms.
- Installation/service errors
- Equipment failure
- False alarms present a serious threat to the effectiveness of our Police Department, as well as to the safety of our fellow citizens.
- False alarms are costly and dangerous because they divert police officers from proactive efforts and can deny response to true emergencies.
Contact your alarm company:
- If you plan any improvement or renovation projects, such as changing phone systems, reconfiguring a room, adding a wall, rearranging cubicles, installing skylights or ceiling fans or even fumigating.
- If you plan to change your alarm system batteries. This can cause an interruption in your system’s power supply, which may trigger an alarm activation.
- Review the procedures you expect your alarm company to follow when your alarm activates.
- Have a maintenance contract with a licensed alarm company, and have your alarm system inspected every year. Replace your system as appropriate.
- If you are apprehensive about using your alarm system, call your alarm company TODAY!!