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The expensive costs of false alarms



INDUSTRIAL-FACILITIES---THE-EXPENSIVE-COSTS-OF-FALSE-ALARMSAlarms are an exceptional asset to protect human resources and facilities, when properly installed, used, and maintained. However, they can become a liability for industries when misused. To illustrate, on average 94-98% of all alarm calls turn out to be false, meaning millions of dollars and thousands of police years are wasted every year in the US. They are a public safety issue as they divert police from other necessary duties, delay officer response to valid calls for help, and misuse City resources.

Further, the business involved has to pay a high price when a false alarm goes off in its premises, since in many cities, the entity responsible for the false alarm is held accountable for all costs incurred for police services. Fines vary in different areas, for instance, in some cities in California, there is no fee for the first, second, or third false alarm occurring in a calendar year, but after that, a business can be fined up to $200 for each incident. In Arizona, if a premise has more than one false alarm within a consecutive 365-day period, subsequent incidents can cost $96.00 for each false alarm.

The disruption, possibility of downtime, and overload of security systems produced by false alarms can also compromise facility security and require extensive repairs. As a result, false alarm lessening and the signaling on evacuations only when alarms are genuine, should be a top priority for industries. Taking the right measures will reduce unnecessary costs for the business as well as avoid complacency from employees, managers and even emergency responders.

  • Incorrect keypad codes
  • Lack of proper staff training
  • Failure to cancel alarm with monitoring facility
  • Failure to notify monitoring facility of unscheduled openings or closings
  • Failure to secure doors and windows before turning on alarm
  • Failure to check the battery power

Reducing human fallacies is important. Yet, commercial entities are encouraged to acquire more sophisticated alarm system technology to help managers address the issue rapidly and effectively.

The solutions range from having more than one sensor in the business property to more data driven technologies. For example, Artificial Intelligence (AI) assists with 1) detecting troublesome alarm activation patterns, 2) suggesting actions to reduce false alarm activation triggers, and 3) can work in conjunction with sensors to provide remote monitoring capabilities enabling facility managers and security providers to address false alarms remotely, thus saving time and money.

These technologies prove to be helpful as false alarms are often activated by animals and even loud noises, like barks from a dog. Implementing an innovative solution that embeds AI and Deep Learning mechanisms, can enhance the ability to recognize human beings from animals, for example, which greatly decreases the risk of an alarm being triggered by accident.