Is Mother Nature Causing Havoc with Your Alarm System?

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You can avoid false alarms from lightning strikes, high winds, power surges, and power interruptions by following these recommendations from the False Alarm Reduction Association.


If you take the following steps you can reduce the chance an alarm will be triggered by a storm.

Beware of Mother Nature

Mother Nature can cause havoc with your alarm system. Public Safety response to alarms caused by storms are considered false and may be costly in terms of false alarm fines and in some jurisdictions, suspension of law enforcement response.

You Can Tame Mother Nature

Properly designed, installed and maintained alarm systems will not generate false alarms due to lightning strikes, high winds, power surges, and power interruptions.

If you take the following steps you can reduce the chance an alarm will be triggered by a storm.

  • Repair loose fitting doors and windows.
  • Ensure all alarm contacts are firmly in place. Use wide-gap door and window contacts.
  • Use surge suppressors / protectors on both the alarm system and the phone line. Power and line surge suppressors / protectors redirect and dissipate electrical current, and through proper grounding reduce their effect on your alarm system.
  • Ensure the back-up battery is in good working order and will hold a charge for at least 4 hours. Note: Batteries only last 3-4 years and need to be changed periodically. Alarm systems that have had several power outages or an extended power outage event, will need the battery replaced more frequently.
  • Check window screen alarms frequently to make sure they are not affected by wind and weather. Window screen alarms, depending upon where they are placed, are more susceptible to corrosion.

However, in the case of a catastrophic lightning strike, your alarm system may suffer unavoidable damage. If appliances are damaged in a storm make sure to have your alarm system checked out by a qualified technician.

Taking Steps Can Save You

Taking the proper precautions will greatly reduce false alarms caused by storms. Reducing weather related false alarms will maintain the integrity of your alarm system, conserve valuable public safety resources, save you money in fines or fees and prevent other consequences, levied by policing jurisdictions.

To find out more about the False Alarm Reduction Association contact Brad Shipp, FARA Executive Director, at (301) 519-9237, email or visit the web-site at

About FARA:

The False Alarm Reduction Association is an association primarily of persons employed by government and public safety agencies in charge of, or working in, False Alarm Reduction Units. Our goal is to assist these individuals in reducing false alarms for their jurisdiction. We do this by facilitating the exchange of information, influencing legislation and establishing relationships and partnerships with other groups interested in false alarm reduction.

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Brad Shipp
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