How to reduce false alarms

Instructions on how to reduce false alarm activity

What is a false alarm?


A false alarm is the report of a false emergency causing unnecessary response and/or dispatch of authorities where they are not needed.

Why is reducing false alarms important?


A false alarm wastes valuable time, both yours and that of the emergency service providers. It may also jeopardize the ability of authorities to attend emergencies. If authorities are dispatched in response to false alarms, you may incur false alarm fees and it may also lead to the suspension of your alarm permit.

How can you reduce false alarms?


Knowing the common causes of false alarms is the first step to reducing them. We’ve included a few tips to get you started.

  1. Keep your emergency contact list up-to-date
  2. Follow arming and disarming best practices
  3. Consider your animal companions
  4. Inspect your system and setup
  5. Avoid hitting the panic buttons by mistake

Need more help using your system? Please see our support article on how to manage your SmartHome.

1. Keep your emergency contact list up-to-date


  • What we require: A minimum of 3 contacts on your account who can be reached in order to verify an alarm. Your ideal emergency contacts should live in or know the location of your premises, have access to the building and be able to act on your behalf in the event of an emergency. Make sure you keep these details up-to-date to ensure the right people are contacted in the event of an alarm
  • When to update emergency contact list: Your emergency contact list should be updated if members of your household change, phone numbers change, in the event of a move and potentially while you’re on vacation
  • How to update your emergency contacts: You can update your emergency contacts through the SmartHome Security app or the website. Need more help? Please visit the support page on how to manage emergency contacts. When making changes to your contact list please ensure that your new contacts know their verbal password

Alternatively, a location password can be used for your account when our Central Monitoring Station responds to two-way or a landline number.

2. Arming and disarming best practices


  • Set up your panel near the main entry point: Your panel should be easily accessible from your main entry/exit point so that you do not trigger an alarm when exiting your home and can quickly disarm your system when re-entering your home
  • Educate all users on how to arm/disarm: Ensure all family members and others who have access to your premises, e.g. a babysitter or housekeeper, are properly trained to arm or disarm your system and are equipped with a verbal password to cancel an alarm with our central monitoring station

3. Consider your animal companions


Motion detectors may detect pet movement depending on the size of your animal and their activity in your home, e.g. jumping on furniture. For large pets, we recommend installing a pet shield within the motion detector, which can help reduce false alarms by ignoring the floor region.*

You can avoid triggering false alarms from pet movement by keeping the furniture away from the motion detector field of view.

*While a pet shield does not guarantee reduced alarm activity triggered by your pets, it will help to reduce the risk of false alarms. Contact us to install a pet shield.

4. Inspect your system and set-up


We recommend inspecting your system on an annual basis for the following:

  • Check for sensor damage or looseness. After your panel is disarmed, regularly perform check-ups on your sensors to ensure they are secure and cannot be jiggled loose with everyday activity, e.g. opening and closing a door
  • Keep your security system clean. Dust, cobwebs and other particles in the home can trigger your sensors. Once they are dusty or are placed in an area where there is more dust than usual, e.g. a laundry room, they are more prone to react. Make sure to keep your home clean and tidy to avoid false alarms
  • Assess sensor sensitivity when making modifications to your home. If you're changing the setup of your home, make sure to consider your security system setup so that your daily activities do not cause false alarms. For example, in your new living room set-up could your curtains trigger a motion detector if a window is left open? Can your new windows be inadvertently opened by a strong breeze?
  • Replace your batteries regularly. Your TELUS SmartHome Security mobile app will alert you if your device is reaching a low battery level. Changing the batteries on a regular basis can help prevent false alarms and ensure your home is secure at all times. Please visit our battery replacement support page for more information at telus.com/SecurityBatteries

5. Avoid hitting the panic buttons by mistake


  • By default your panel is programmed to show police, fire and auxiliary panic buttons
  • If you find yourself triggering false alarms by pressing these buttons, contact us to have them removed from your home screen

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