Preventing False Alarms

False alarms can occur with any home security system. In this situation, the alarm is accidentally triggered and a dispatch request is made to the police or fire department, but there is no actual security threat, fire, or carbon monoxide event.

False alarms waste the time of police officers, firefighters, and EMS personnel, preventing emergency responders from handling true emergencies. To lower the number of false alarms, many towns and cities have implemented deterrents, such as:

  • Expensive Fees: You may be charged fees for each false alarm.
  • Permit Revoked: Having an excessive number of false alarms can lead to having your alarm permit revoked or suspended. This means there may be no emergency response to your home in a real emergency.
  • Slower Emergency Response: If your address has a history of triggering false alarms, the local authorities might not prioritize dispatch requests from your location and you may experience a slower response by emergency personnel during a real emergency.


When you understand the causes of false alarms and how to prevent them, you’ll be able to help reduce the risk and feel comfortable while keeping your home secure.

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What are Some Causes of False Alarms?

False alarms may be caused by:

  • Using Entry and Exit Delays that are too short.
  • Not answering the phone when the monitoring center calls. (Click here to learn how to set your mobile device to receive emergency calls even when your phone is in Do Not Disturb mode.)
  • Not remembering the verbal password.
  • Forgetting to share your verbal password with designated emergency contacts.
  • Improper device installation, such as placing a Motion Detector near a busy window or a heat source, or improperly mounting a Contact Sensor.
  • Arming in Away Mode instead of Home Mode when you’re at home.
  • Placing a smoke detector with a Smoke & CO Listener* in the kitchen close to the stove/oven, if you frequently create a lot of smoke while cooking.
  • Not providing caregivers who access your home (including dog walkers and babysitters) with a Guest User Alarm code, and not teaching them how to arm and disarm correctly.
  • Waiting too long to cancel dispatch of emergency responders after triggering the Alarm by accident.

How Do You Prevent False Alarms?

Here are examples of ways to prevent false alarms:

  • Make your emergency contacts Shared Users on your account so that they can arm, disarm, and check on your Ring Alarm.
  • Remember your verbal password and share it with your emergency contacts. If you or your emergency contact forgets the verbal password, you won’t be able to cancel the dispatch when the monitoring center calls. Knowing your verbal password can help prevent a false alarm when the monitoring company calls.
  • Make sure that everyone in your home is comfortable arming and disarming your Ring Alarm with the Keypad using a 4-digit access code. Many false alarms happen when someone does not enter the correct Keypad code. If you can quickly disarm your alarm and answer the call from the monitoring center, you may be able to cancel the dispatch and prevent a false alarm.
  • Save the Ring monitoring center phone number (833-209-2159) as a contact in your phone as “Ring Alarm.” If possible, give this number a unique ringtone to help ensure you don’t miss the call.
  • If you use Do Not Disturb (DND) on your mobile device, make sure it is set it to receive emergency calls from the Ring monitoring center, even when in Do Not Disturb mode. Click here to learn how.
  • Use your 7-Day Practice Mode to learn the ins and outs of your Ring Alarm. When you first sign up for professional monitoring,* the system goes into a 7-Day Practice Mode so you can learn how to operate your alarm system. If you set off the alarm during the 7-Day Practice Mode, you'll receive an automated call from the monitoring center. (If it's a real emergency, you can speak to a live agent and request help.) We recommend setting your alarm off as much as you can during this practice period to get comfortable with arming and disarming your system.
  • When the 7-Day Practice Mode ends, your Ring Alarm will automatically be professionally monitored.* At this time, if your Alarm is triggered, you'll get a call from a live agent and help may be dispatched depending on the circumstances.
  • Pets, light changes, and other movement can set off a false alarm. See Motion Detector False Alarm Tips. Check that elements and pets inside your home won’t accidentally set off motion detectors. That might include helium balloons, rotating fans, shiny objects, flickering lights, and curtains placed over an air vent. Any movement within your home can trigger the motion detector when your Ring Alarm is armed “away,” potentially setting off the alarm.
  • Replace low batteries and faulty equipment immediately. If your Ring Alarm sends you a notification that a Contact Sensor has a low battery, replace it immediately. If a device breaks in some way, bypass it when you arm your home and replace the battery as soon as possible.

Click Here for More Tips to Prevent False Alarms

NOTE: Guests, visitors, caregivers, babysitters, house cleaners, and dog walkers can disarm your Ring Alarm using their own 4-digit guest user access code. If you have someone staying with you for a while, make sure they're comfortable arming and disarming the system. Anyone who can enter your house when you're not around should have a code to operate the system to help avoid false alarms.

Click here to learn more about Users and Roles.

Click here to read about Arming, Disarming, and Setting Modes on your Ring Alarm, as well as setting your Entry Delay and Exit Delay.

Click here to learn about getting a call from Ring’s professional monitoring* center and the expected emergency response for each type of alarm.

Click here for an overview about understanding the emergency process.

 

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* A compatible Ring Protect subscription is required to enroll in the Ring Alarm professional monitoring service. Professional monitoring service is available only within the U.S. (all 50 states, but not U.S. territories) and in Canada (excluding Quebec). Ring does not own its own professional monitoring center. Smoke and carbon monoxide monitoring is not available for commercial properties. See Ring Alarm licenses at: https://www.ring.com/licenses. Additional permit or false alarm fees may apply depending on your local jurisdiction. Additional charges may apply in areas that require permits or guard response service for alarm verification.

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