Causes of False Alarms in Commercial Security Systems

02 Sep 2023
BY Zicam Integrated Security Ltd

In today’s era, commercial security systems are a business essential. They not only safeguard physical and intellectual assets, but also contribute to the overall operational efficiency of an enterprise.

However, one persistent issue remains a thorn in the side for many businesses – false alarms. These false alarms not only disrupt business operations but can also lead to unnecessary costs if they trigger a response from law enforcement or private security companies. Let’s delve deeper into the common causes of these false alarms.


Sensor Problems

Commercial security systems often rely heavily on sensors to detect potential threats and illicit activities. However, one of the significant sources of false alarms in these systems is sensor errors. These errors can occur due to a variety of reasons. Inadvertent triggers can be caused by environmental factors such as temperature fluctuations, humidity, or even insects interfering with the sensor’s operation.

Wear and tear over time can also compromise a sensor’s accuracy, leading to malfunctioning and false alarms. Furthermore, improper installation or calibration of the sensors can result in erroneous readings. Such issues not only lead to frequent false alarms but can also cause businesses to lose faith in their security measures. Therefore, regular maintenance and professional installation of sensors are paramount to ensure the efficiency and reliability of commercial security systems.


Human Error

Human error is frequently cited as one of the leading causes of false alarms in commercial security systems. Employees who are unfamiliar with the operation of the security system can inadvertently trigger false alarms, often driven by simple mistakes such as entering incorrect codes or failing to properly secure doors and windows before the system is armed.

Additionally, failure to maintain or update the system regularly can result in malfunctions that trigger false positives. These errors not only undermine the efficiency of the security system but also place unnecessary demand on local law enforcement resources, which can lead to fines or penalties for the business.

Therefore, proper employee training and regular system maintenance are crucial elements in avoiding these false alarms.


Environmental Factors

Environmental factors have a profound effect on the performance and reliability of commercial security systems, often contributing to false alarms which can be disruptive and costly. For instance, weather conditions like heavy rain, high winds, or lightning can trigger motion detectors and perimeter sensors, interpreting these environmental disturbances as potential security breaches.

Similarly, temperature fluctuations may cause expanding and contracting in door and window frames, resulting in false alarms from door/window contact sensors. Even insects or small animals could set off sensors if they invade the detection area.

Hence, it’s crucial to consider these environmental factors during the design and installation of security systems, and where possible, utilise technology that can differentiate between genuine security threats and these environmental disturbances.


Aged or Outdated Systems

Older systems often lack the advanced calibration and discrimination abilities of modern technologies, leading to an increased likelihood of false positives. For instance, they may incorrectly interpret minor environmental changes or normal building movements as security breaches.

Furthermore, deteriorated components in these systems, such as sensors or wiring, can malfunction, triggering unwarranted alarms. This highlights the importance of regular updates and maintenance to the security systems to reduce the occurrence of false alarms and ensure efficient, reliable protection.


Incorrectly Configured Settings

Incorrectly configured systems play a significant role in triggering false. These systems are complex and require careful setup and calibration, as even a minor misconfiguration can lead to a false positive. For instance, motion sensors need to be correctly tuned to their environment to avoid being triggered by harmless events, such as the movement of curtains or changes in lighting conditions.

Similarly, door and window sensors must be correctly installed and aligned to function accurately. Furthermore, the system’s software settings also play a critical role. If the sensitivity levels are set too high or if the system’s parameters do not accurately reflect the environment it is protecting, false alarms can become a frequent occurrence.

Thus, proper configuration and regular maintenance of these systems are crucial to ensure their effectiveness and reliability.


Contact Us

Here at Zicam, we are dedicated to supporting all of our customers to stay safe when it comes to their businesses. If you are looking for specialist business security systems do not hesitate to contact us via our contact form or by phone at 08000854711.

Subscribe here to keep up to date with Zicam’s news and views.

Contact us for more details