Client Communication Can Ease Holiday False Dispatches

Seasonal errors are mishaps/accidents that happen with alarm systems during the holidays. False dispatch rates are higher during this time of year. Learning what causes these alarms and alerting your customers to the possible causes of false activation can keep your costs down during these season and keep law enforcement focused on real problems.

From the False Alarm Prevention Committee of the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA), here are some holiday tips:

Reasons for holiday false dispatches: Residential

  • Family and friends (and their pets) visiting overnight who are not familiar with the system.

  • Furniture rearranged, which affects the design of the system.

  • Sun direction changes (during all seasons), which would cause a potential issue with PIRs.

  • Candles, dry trees, overcooked turkeys and faulty lights could cause fires, so check fire alarms.

  • Balloons in front of motion detectors.

    Reasons for holiday dispatches: Commercial

  • Temporary employees hired over the holidays have not been properly trained to use the security system.

  • Last-minute schedule changes can lead to inexperienced staff closing the office (arming the system).

  • Longer hours for some employees can cause carelessness.

  • Parties at the office can cause people to be haphazard with the alarm system.

    How alarm companies should educate the end user during the holidays:

  • Send out a seasonal false alarm errors flyer in your billing asking the customer to be prepared.

  • If you have a company newsletter, alert customers to potential seasonal false alarm problems.

  • Randomly call customers about false dispatch reduction.

  • Offer training sessions for seasonal employees.

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