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Ever had those false alarms that go out to emergency personnel when an old-school landline-based alarm is tripped accidentally? Current security systems cut down on those false calls to law enforcement, says Capt. Carl Minden of the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office.

"The systems, on the whole, are better," he says. "When you have the ability to pull up images of your house on your phone and see whether there's something going on -- yes, that does eliminate us ever getting the call," if there's not a problem. Minden doesn't have the numbers to correlate, but says "the systems are just better."

"Let's say your alarm, you accidentally tripped it .... If you've got the phone app, you can go ahead and reset it, whereas in the past, you had to go home, and sometimes people just wouldn't do it. The ability to fix a false alarm takes quite a few of those out [of the equation] for us now." And if a burglary is committed in a home with cameras installed, "it helps to solve stuff, because you have footage."

What system features would Minden and his colleagues recommend? "Obviously we're not alarm experts," he says, "but we'll tell people the door sensors are good, depending on what type of residence you have. It's always good to have some type of motion sensor in the house, and then -- depending on your budget and your need -- we're always a big advocate of cameras. We solve a lot more crimes now because of personal surveillance systems."

Minden has had a security system on his home for many years. These days he, too, can operate it wirelessly. He admonishes homeowners to test their alarms periodically. He also advises consumers to make sure they set their alarms, even when they're home. He sets his alarm before going to bed for "even more peace of mind."

-- Helaine R. Williams

HomeStyle on 10/01/2016

Print Headline: Today's technology curtails false alarms

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