System Limitations (cont'd)
• Alarm warning devices such as sirens, bells, or horns may not alert people or wake up
sleepers who are located on the other side of closed or partly open doors. If warning devices
sound on a different level of the residence from the bedrooms, then they are less likely to
waken or alert people inside the bedrooms. Even persons who are awake may not hear the
warning if the alarm is muffled by noise from a stereo, radio, air conditioner, other
appliances, or by passing traffic. Finally, alarm warning devices, however loud, may not warn
hearing-impaired people or waken deep sleepers.
• Telephone lines needed to transmit alarm signals from a premises to a central monitoring
station may be out of service. Telephone lines are also subject to compromise by sophisticated
• However, even if the system responds to the emergency as intended, occupants may have
insufficient time to protect themselves from the emergency situation. In the case of a
monitored alarm system, authorities may not respond appropriately.
• This equipment, like other electrical devices, is subject to component failure. Even though
this equipment is designed to last as long as 20 years, the electronic components could fail at
The most common cause of an alarm system not functioning when an intrusion or fire occurs is
inadequate maintenance. This alarm system should be tested weekly to make sure all sensors
are working properly.
Installing an alarm system may make one eligible for lower insurance rates, but an alarm
system is not a substitute for insurance. Homeowners, property owners, and renters should
continue to act prudently in protecting themselves and continue to insure their lives and
We continue to develop new and improved protection devices. Users of alarm systems owe it to
themselves and their loved ones to learn about these developments.
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