A Full Guide To False Alarms and Nuisance Alarms

Having a security system in South Florida and Miami is incredibly important both for residential properties and commercial properties. However, when you don’t understand how the system works or it is installed improperly, False Alarms can occur starting both your family and friends or worse your clients.

It can be a major detractor for businesses especially if they happen frequently. That’s why we are going to talk about these false alarms and how to take care of them when they happen. The first step is recognizing them.

Let’s get into it. 

What Are False Alarms?

False alarms are when your security system starts alerting those because of a false trigger. They may think that there is a hazard but in reality, there is no danger present. This happens quite often for a number of reasons across different security systems. While we will talk about this later, this is why it’s important to have a quality system that can detect the difference. 

Particularly speaking, a false alarm is going to officially alert your nearby emergency authorities to come and address this situation. This is much more common with a business or commercial property than it is with a residential property. We will specify why in a minute. 

What Causes False Alarms?

There are five different main causes of false alarms being triggered. Let’s break them all down so we can really understand. 

  1. Faulty Equipment – There always should be a big emphasis on using high-quality equipment. Fault equipment often will trigger false alarms by not recognizing the threat correctly. 
  1. Poor Install – A poor installation can lead to the wrong wiring. An electrician is required to do all wiring. Some systems don’t require wiring but that doesn’t mean that something can’t go wrong. This can be a human error. 
  1. Poor Power Source – Most systems are going to be hard-wired but some of them are put on batteries or both. If either of the power sources doesn’t have a strong power source they can set the alarm to warn or constantly reset the device. 
  1. Loose Triggers – If an alarm is based on entry points and they are constantly loose or slightly open they are going to set off the alarm. This can be the same for windows or other entry points. It’s important to secure the entry points. 
  1. Pets/Animals – We love animals but they are often a major culprit of setting off the security system alarms. They can be mistaken for humans or do a number of reasons why the alarm has been triggered. 
  1. Dirt/Dust – If your alarm is not clean believe it or not these particles can set off an alarm especially when it comes to smoke detectors. Cleaning them often is important to maintain the system. 

What are Nuisance Alarms?

Some of the false alarms we mentioned above can also be considered nuisance alarms. These are usually with smoke detectors and fire alarm systems. Nuisance alarms do not require emergency authorities to come to the scene and can either be ignored or shut off. 

Let’s talk more about what causes nuisance alarms. 

What causes Nuisance Alarms?

There are many different reasons why a nuisance alarm may be set off. As mentioned we see that this happens a lot more in residential properties and in some cases commercial properties when there is new construction. 

Examples of nuisance alarms:

  • Cooking in the kitchen and having smoke from the kitchen set the alarm off.
  • Steam from taking a hot shower setting the alarm off.
  • Dust/dirt setting the alarm off. 

(Dust and dirt are especially present in commercial or resident alarms when there is construction going on because of the flying particles through the air.)

Difference between False and Nuisance Alarms

The key to focusing on the difference between false alarms and nuisance alarms is that a false alarm has to do with fire alarms and a nuisance alarm has more to do with smoke detectors. 

A false alarm is an official reporting to the fire department for help by the fire alarm system where there really is no hazard or fire present. 

A nuisance alarm is something that is not officially reported and may just be the smoke detector getting set off for any number of reasons mentioned. 

Oftentimes we will see false alarms with commercial properties because they are bigger entities than residential property. We also see much more nuisance alarms in residential properties because there are so many things like cooking and cleaning that occur on a daily basis. 

How to prevent False Alarms?

When it comes to preventing a false alarm there are a number of things you can do. We can essentially go down the list of things that cause them and do the opposite. Let’s get a little more specific on the action steps we can take. 

  1. Use Pet-Immune Sensors – We talked about how pets can often be a trigger for false alarms. This is because some detectors may not understand the difference between a human and an animal inside and outside the house while the alarm is on. To avoid this carefully choose a high-quality product that has pet recognition. 
  1. Use an Electrician – It’s important especially with alarms that require wiring to use a licensed electrician. This way you don’t have to worry about any triggered false alarms. Also, make sure that they install it in an area that has powerful power output. Even if it doesn’t require wiring you can ask a security professional to help install it. 
  1. Quality Products – We already said that products of poor quality can malfunction a lot and even trigger when they don’t recognize figures properly. When you buy a quality product you likely will have fewer issues with false or nuisance alarms. 
  1. Maintenance – There are some important maintenance tips that you should practice. This includes changing the batteries yearly and replacing the system every 10 years. You also need to clean as mentioned with dust and debris entering the tiny slits and openings of the alarm system. 
  1. Keep Entry Points Secure – Make sure that you close the doors and windows securely when you are leaving your property. Be also sure to write down any passwords so that you don’t forget and enter incorrect information. This can be one of the leading causes for false alarms to be set off. 
  1. Install in Good Space – If you install right next to the shower or above the oven you are going to have a lot of false or nuisance alarms. Keeping it nearby without it being right on top is important to maintaining a true alarm security system. 

With all these in mind, you are sure to have fewer false and nuisance alarms in either your residential or commercial property. 

False Alarms & Nuisance Alarms FAQs

False and nuisance alarms can both be tricky and confusing concepts. While you may feel comfortable now with the information above there are always some questions floating around that may not be answered. That’s why we are dedicating this section to frequently asked questions so you can leave here feeling very confident on how to treat false and nuisance alarms. 

Do these types of alarms occur when the power goes out?

This depends on the factors of what type of alarm security system you have. Most of the time we have both hard-wired and battery-operated systems so that when the power goes out that system keeps running. Some alarms will alert you as a reset to the system when the power goes back on. This can be considered a nuisance alarm. 

Some alarms won’t make any noise when the power goes out or comes back on because they were continuously running on batteries and that is not a part of their system. This is very dependent on each residence or commercial property. 

Does it matter if it is a false alarm or a nuisance alarm?

Yes and no. Both alarms are something that signals there may be danger but in fact, there is no danger present at all. So in that sense, it doesn’t matter how it was triggered if you know that there is no danger present or the cause of it being triggered. 

But what is important to note is that a false alarm DOES alert authority officials and a nuisance alarm doesn’t. Technically speaking this is not great because it can waste the resources of the authorities attending to real alarms. That’s why it is important to control false alarms as much as possible. 

What if you can’t figure out what’s causing the false or nuisance alarms?

You can always reach out to a security team or an electrician/fire department to come and evaluate what’s going on with your security system. Instead of doing guesswork, they can try to find the route of the cause or at the very least make recommendations to stop the false or nuisance alarms. 

We can go down our list provided too to also see if there are any obvious factors that make sense. Some are easier to spot than others such as animals, unsecured entry points, etc., Verse wiring issues or installation problems. 

Circle Systems Solutions Product Showcase

We talked a little about needing to have the right installation and having high-quality products in order to prevent having false and nuisance alarms. That also means having the right team behind you. Head on over to the Circle Security Solutions Product Showcase to find the best alarm systems on the market for the best prices.

We will be there for you every step of the way from the initial product choice to the install and even help you maintain your system over the years. It’s important that you feel like you have someone to go to for questions and answers and at Circle Security Solutions we have that for you. 

Take It Seriously

While the alarm is not serious at all you should take it seriously and pay attention to it. This is especially true with false alarms as it takes resources away from other people when the fire department or emergency authorities come to your aid. Of course, it naturally happens to everyone which is why determining what the cause is is important. 

There can be a number of factors that set off nuisance or false alarms and as we can see nuisance alarms are a lot more common in residential properties because of things like cooking and cleaning. 

Go back and review the list of things you can do like keeping good maintenance of your security system and investing in high-quality products. Even something as simple as making sure you have some qualifications to install the product can make a huge difference. When you take it seriously you will learn a lot fewer headaches are to come!