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 when there is no actual security threat, fire, or carbon monoxide event.
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.
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. (Tap 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 Listener1 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.
* Ring Alarm and all Ring Alarm accessories require a subscription for digital notifications, in-app features, digital arming/disarming, and integration with other Ring, Echo, and third party products. Subscription sold separately. View ring.com/protect-plans for pricing and details. How Do You Prevent False Alarms?
How 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. (Subscription required, sold separately)
- 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 monitoring1 center calls (Subscription required, sold separately). 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. Tap to learn how.
- Use your Practice Mode to discover features, tweak settings, and arm and disarm your Ring Alarm without the worry of false alarms or accidental dispatches when in practice mode. When you signup for a Ring Protect Pro plan or subscription trial, you can toggle practice mode anytime (US/CA only). In Practice Mode, learn how to use your Alarm system by experience an alarming event and go through an automated call from the Ring Monitoring center. Exit Practice Mode by changing your practice mode settings in the monitoring settings screen and jump back in to refresh your skills at any time.
- When the Practice Mode ends, your Ring Alarm will automatically be professionally monitored.1 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.
* Ring Alarm and all Ring Alarm accessories require a subscription for digital notifications, in-app features, digital arming/disarming, and integration with other Ring, Echo, and third party products. Subscription sold separately. View ring.com/protect-plans for pricing and details.
Learn more about Users and Roles.
Read about Arming, Disarming, and Setting Modes on your Ring Alarm, as well as setting your Entry Delay and Exit Delay.
Learn about getting a call from Ring’s professional monitoring center and the expected emergency response for each type of alarm.
Get an overview about understanding the emergency process.
Using Ring for your business?
- Get more information on preventing false alarms at commercial locations.
- Smoke and CO monitoring is not available at commercial locations.
1 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.