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Why are false alarms a problem?

False alarms reduce the effectiveness of security systems. If alarms are seen as unreliable indicators of threats, they may potentially be ignored or used improperly.

False alarms exhaust the resources of police, fire and emergency personnel and could keep them from responding to actual emergencies.

False alarms can carry fines. In many cities and towns, the owners of systems that trigger false alarms can be fined for each occurrence.

False alarms can lead to denial of service. In some cities and towns, police, fire and emergency personnel are instructed to ignore the alarms of users whose systems have set off false alarms in the past.

False alarms increase costs for taxpayers, security service providers and users, requiring additional personnel to respond to alarms.