Only a couple of weeks to go until Christmas!  All your homes and offices are likely to be beautifully decorated with festive lights and garlands, twinkling as they move in air.

These lovely adornments make this time of year feel that little bit magical, but remember to put thought into where you are placing your decorations – and not just for appearances.

This time of year there are a significant increase in false activations from alarm systems due to Christmas decorations!  Here are a few things to keep in mind to avoid false alarm activations so it’s not more than sleigh bells that end up ringing!

  • Christmas decorations and cards are prone to falling down and creating false alarms possibly wasting police time and leading to your neighbours ignoring alarms from your home in future.
  • Avoid hanging decorations near motion sensor areas as slight movement when the alarm is set could result in an activation.  Make sure these decorations are placed out of the line of sight of the sensor.
  • Vibration sensors can be triggered by loud noise, meaning parties (New Year’s Eve for example) could cause a false alarm if someone near you gets too rowdy!
  • Central heating can move decorations and cards without anyone being in the house.  Place these as far away as possible from your motion sensors, and not directly above radiators.  Cards and decorations hanging above radiators are the most common cause of false activations at this time of year.
  • If you are going away over Christmas, be sure that if you have someone checking in on your house, they know how to deactivate the alarm and what to do if it does go off.
  • Be careful not to obscure CCTV cameras when hanging decorations or signs.
  • Avoid the temptation to decorate alarm sensors at the entrances of shops.  Anything metallic can interfere with the shop lifting alarm system.
  • Pay attention to what you are doing.  With the chaos of Christmas It can be easy to let little things slip your mind, but simply forgetting to deactivate your alarm before you go downstairs in the morning could cause a false activation.
  • Be aware of strong weather, leaving a window slightly open when you go out could result in strong gusts setting off your alarm system.
  • Also remember not to place decorations near heat or light sources as paper and card can be extremely flammable.  Candles particularly should be kept far away from cards and especially kept away from the Christmas tree and any other plants or flowers.

These warnings are also very important for businesses as they are left unoccupied for longer over Christmas and possibly with their decorations left up.  It wouldn’t be very convenient to have to go out and investigate an alarm activation at the office in the middle of your Christmas party.

Those with monitored alarm systems should also take extra care, as too many false activations could result in the loss of your monitoring privileges.