What Causes False Alarms on Home Security Systems?

October 3, 2022 Blog 0 Comment

“What causes security alarm system false alarms?” This is a question that a lot of homeowners ask when they experience waking up to an alert that was set off due to unknown causes. Despite the advancement of modern security technology, false alarms still occur more frequently than people expect. False alarms are a disturbance for everyone around you, including the police and your neighbors; they can even discourage some individuals from continuing to use their home security system. The cost-effectiveness of security systems is more than justified by the lives and assets they protect. False alarms can, however, disrupt businesses and the emergency services that respond to them. 

In this article, we will be going over several factors that can trigger an alert and cause a false alarm in your home security systems. We will offer helpful insight to help you adjust your security and fire alarm systems to function as intended—in the background and out of your way.

What are the most probable causes for false alarms?

A false alarm, sometimes known as a “false trip” in the alarm industry, occurs when a security system identifies an event that triggers a detection device (a motion sensor or smoke detector, for example) without an actual cause or due to a benign, unintended scenario.

  • Improper installation

Frequently, discount security businesses lead to discount products. If door and window sensors are not correctly aligned, or if the incorrect type of motion sensor is installed in the wrong configuration, the system may trip inaccurately, if it even sets. Setting detectors in locations with minimal temperature fluctuations, such as not on bathroom windows, above radiators, or in full sunshine, is preferable. If you lack confidence, go for a professional installation. 

Poorly installed and planned layouts may also have inconveniently placed devices in hard-to-reach places. In a highly dusty or steamy work location, for instance, a heat detector may be preferable to a smoke detector, which may mistake dust or steam for actual smoke. There is also the chance that using “cheap” security system components and gadgets may withstand the rigors of frequent use compared to using more substantial, higher-rated materials.

  • Little to no maintenance or upkeep

Just like all the tools you keep on your workbench, alarm systems require frequent maintenance. Regular maintenance is necessary to maintain your alarm system in good condition. Damaged or neglected alarm systems can cause motion detectors, window and door sensors, and other field devices to falsely detect disturbances. Regularly cleaning sensors will reduce false alerts produced by dust or debris obscuring their view. 

Batteries and wires can be inspected for deteriorated components, corrosion, and system updates. Consider an annual service plan for your alarm system as well. False alarms are more likely to occur if your alarm system is outdated or in need of repair. An up-to-date system can help you avoid false alerts by monitoring every component so it can inform you if it needs any adjustments. In addition to preventing technical problems, system maintenance ensures that your system is responsive when required, so you can sleep with your mind at ease knowing you are protected 24/7.

  • Human error

This may be surprising to some, but the user themselves is one of the most common sources of false alarms. According to recent studies, human error causes more than 80% of false alarms. Human error may be caused by a lack of user training or an incorrect grasp of the alarm system’s operations, among other things. People may inadvertently activate the alarm or forget to deactivate it before opening doors and windows, causing the alarm to sound. Ensure your alarm systems are user-friendly and straightforward to operate as the first step in avoiding human error. Also, take the time to learn the alarm system and train everyone who will need to use it on how to handle the equipment securely and correctly.

  • Hardware being infested with vermin

Vermin are also a common factor that not many people expect. Check for the presence of Ants, Geckos, Silverfish, Cockroaches, and other insects in your locality. Literally, bugs are a typical issue with some older, conventional security systems. Before buying a new system, it would be best to check whether the sensor’s internal housing is sealed to prevent insects from entering. Knowing that the system you bought prioritized reliability in the design saves a great deal of time and effort over time.

  • Tampering caused by the environment

Environmental interference happens when environmental factors trigger the alarm when they should not. The alarm system can be affected by various variables, including inclement weather, power outages, temperature fluctuations, etc. For instance, lightning can trigger a sensor because the device can detect an electrical charge in the air. To avoid interference, avoid installing your alarm system in a location susceptible to weather changes. Additionally, connect each device to surge protectors or uninterruptible power supplies. Surge protectors will aid in protecting against voltage spikes that could damage the hardware of your system.


False alarms can make security alarm systems a nuisance to figure out. However, security systems will always be an excellent choice for protecting your home and family. You may avoid them by understanding your security system and being aware of all the potential causes of false alarms. While the list above is by no means exhaustive, it does address the most prevalent causes and provides some options for preventing them. If your home security alarm has been mistakenly activated, you should immediately contact a monitoring centre in your locality.

If you wish to learn how to avoid false alarms with smart home security, then we have the team you have been looking for. If you need trustworthy alarm systems installers in Perth, then you should contact Smart Security to provide you with high-quality security equipment and installation. Smart Security has continually expanded over the past two decades to become one of Perth’s leading security firms. Together, our devoted teams of security system technicians, alarm system advisers, and 24-hour Security Control Room specialists are able to provide an unparalleled selection of security system and alarm system goods and services.