False alarms are a big problem for police
Responding to false alarms has become a major misdirection of resources for many New Jersey police departments.
East Brunswick police are requiring residents and businesses to register their alarm systems by May 31. They are asking the locals to go to their website and register via the online CryWolf Administration Site.
Kerri McDonald, president of the False Alarm Reduction Association, says false alarms can be triggered by improper alarm arming.
"One of the other common things relates to interior motion detectors caused from, maybe, a pet inside or something that moves. People sometimes get deliveries of balloons," she said.
There's also user error.
"When someone comes in, or when the are exiting, they make a mistake with entering their code with a keypad or using a key fob, might push the wrong buttons."
Not properly training users: People who are unfamiliar with an alarm system, cleaning crews or maintenance people or housesitters may inadvertently trigger an alarm.
Power problems or glitches: Weak batteries in the alarm system or electric supply disruptions that can trigger an unintended alarm.
"Will see is an increase in the false alarms when we have a lot of people going on vacation," she said.
Failure to properly secure doors and windows is also a problem.
As many as 98 percent of alarms that local police respond to are false or unfounded. McDonald says very often, as many as three officers or more respond, "it can take a significant amount of time out of their daily patrol duties."
Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5