While all metal detectors will have false alarms at one time or another, there are ways to prevent it from happening often. Many times interference of the unit can come from a variety of sources, such as voltage spikes from AC power sources or even some types of electromagnetic waves which are airborne. Although these occurrences are uncommon, they do happen. Its wise to be sure your guards have proper training while operating the metal detector.
Airborne types of interference can come from items such as nearby X-ray equipment, photocopiers, mobile radios, TV or computer monitors, and even from light ballasts. A light ballast is an electrical device which can start and regulate different types of fluorescent lights or discharge lamps. The closer any of these items come to the metal detector, the higher the chance of there being a false alarm.
Manufacturers of metal detectors take care in constructing the units to prevent as much of this as possible. They use electronic filtering and a type of software which is based on algorithms to stop the problem of interference. The units are built to reject as much noise as possible, and the higher the quality of metal detector used, the better the ability of the unit to function properly under situations of interference.
How to Protect Your Metal Detector from Interference
While interference can and will happen, there are several things you can do to help keep it to a minimum. First, determine the quality of metal detector you need. The higher the quality, the better the chance your unit will have of deflecting interference. Second, look around and determine which of types of airborne interference can be minimized. Maybe a photocopier nearby could be moved to another location. If there is a TV or computer monitor near the unit, it may just need to be moved to another spot. There are some easy fixes when you know what items to move farther away or out of the room.
Other things such as signs asking people to briefly turn off their mobile radios while in the room can also help, provided the radios aren’t for emergency personnel use. The more you are aware of what can trigger a false alarm, the better equipped you will be to prevent them from happening in the first place. Also be sure read this article about setting up and selecting your metal detector