The False Alarm Epidemic, and What’s Behind It

Jamie Alexander

We hear the reports; many police departments are unwilling to answer calls to homes and businesses that have excessive false alarms. Or, they will answer, but assess a fat $100 to $1,000 fee for any false alarm responses over two or three. This can get expensive real fast. And if you don’t pay the fee, they just won’t come out any more.

Security providers are feeling the squeeze too, because many of them depend on police departments to provide the response to the calls. Without this reliable call-response system working, the whole machine gets mucked up.

From a purely business and financial viewpoint, this false alarm situation is giving the security industry a real headache. But for homeowners and business owners, it is more than a headache, it is destabilizing. We may be without response-security in the event we need real emergency help because of a break-in, or robbery.

Why All The False Alarms?

But why, all of a sudden is this happening now? Why all the false alarms when it seemed there were not so many before, at least not enough of them to bring this issue to such a problematic point?

There are two reasons: One is dirty power. Because of the deregulation of power across state lines some years ago, supply and transmission issues are creating problems for sensitive electronic gear like computers and alarm systems. Aging facilities, not totally compatible transmission capabilities and grid switching are now sources of voltage spikes that were not present to this degree prior to deregulation.

According to a published report by DITEK, a surge protection manufacturer, Hundreds of transient voltages enter the typical home daily through power, phone, and cable lines, as well as satellite dishes. And the volume of transient voltages has escalated dramatically since deregulation.

The other reason is the exploding expansion of digital circuitry into alarm systems. DITEK explains, Homes are getting more sophisticated, for example with low-voltage lighting control and security systems. Anything with a circuit board in it, right down to the toaster, is susceptible to surge damage today.

New low-voltage devices and systems make protecting against surges ever more difficult. As system complexity and intelligence increase — even in smart appliances such as ovens, washers, dryers, and furnaces — voltage capacity is reaching new lows, which increases component susceptibility to transient damage and malfunction. Sometimes a three-volt surge can damage a system, where before ten times that amount would be required. And big surges can fry components or systems completely.

Most alarm systems do not have adequate surge protection, nor do many of them re-set after a surge. Some do not even indicate that they are no longer set in the on position. Even if somebody did break in, it would not go off and you would never know your alarm was not set.

What Do We Do Now?

Luckily for most of us, burglars are not particularly astute to this technical breakdown, nor do they know when power surges might strike. So, it’s still hit-and-miss for them when it comes to picking a home or business to target.

But unless you check your alarm, you don’t know whether you are protected or not. Is your burglar alarm on or deactivated? Will it be that way two hours later when you and your family have gone to bed for the night? It is a bit unsettling.

The bottom line is that our burglar alarm systems cannot give us the level of security that we feel we need. Factually, any real security along this line can only come from our own personal certainty that we can defend ourselves in our homes. As a start, if you have an alarm system you should have surge protection on it.

More importantly, whether that alarm goes off or not, if there is an intruder in your home you are in extreme danger. Because of the epidemic of false alarms, unfortunately even neighbors usually do not pay any attention to them. So most times, that alarm is not going to do you a bit of good at that point. It is up to you to protect yourself and your family from the imminent crisis. How well you survive is totally dependent upon your own skills to orchestrate your self defense.

There is no better place in the world to learn the skills to defend every member of your family, than Front Sight Resorts.

To find out where to learn the self-defense and personal safety techniques that could save your life, contact Front Sight Resorts,

Jamie Alexander is a freelance business writer.

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