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Protecting your Home

Nov 09, 2017 11:13AM ● By Jodi Gallup

Is your home security system an asset or a liability? Alarm systems can protect lives and your property while you are away, sleeping, or simply preoccupied. Some advantages of home security systems include deterring potential intruders, monitoring your house remotely, and linking systems to a monitoring center to immediately notify law enforcement or the fire department when an alarm is triggered.

If using a home security system, take the time to learn how the system operates such as arming and disarming it and who gets notified first when an alarm is triggered. If the system is properly used and maintained it can be a real asset in a time of need. When misunderstood or not carefully programmed, the system can become a real liability.

In 2016, the Medina Police Department responded to a total of 280 false alarms including 101 business alarms, 135 home alarms, 35 fire alarms, 6 CO2 alarms, and 3 medical alarms. Each one of these false alarms wastes valuable time and money. Consider the time it takes the police departments, fire departments, and alarm monitoring companies to respond to the call and investigate to then determine there is no real threat. Not to mention the inconvenience to the business or homeowner to deal with cancelling the alarm and assessing the cause of the trigger.

Because of the large expense in responding to false alarms, Medina does impose a fee for false alarms. Your first police false alarm is free (not fire false alarms), because we give you the benefit of the doubt and hope you fix the issue. A second offense in the same calendar year will be charged $25; 3rd offense is $50; 4th offense is $75; 5th offense and thereafter is $150. Because of the amount of resources involved in dispatching a fire call, false fire alarms are charged on the first offense at $100; 2nd offense is $150; 3rd offense is $200; 4th offense and thereafter is $250.   

What can you do to reduce false alarms?

  • Fully understand how your alarm system operates and train other authorized users on the system (children, relatives, babysitters, house guests, etc.)

  • Know how to properly cancel a false alarm

  • Secure all doors and windows before turning on the system

  • Notify monitoring company of any changes to the usual routine of the property (new pets, seasonal decorations, house guests, etc.)

  • Routinely have equipment inspected by qualified personnel

  • Do not leave balloons or other moving objects in a room with motion detectors

  • Notify the company if you are testing or fixing your alarm system

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