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Alarm Response

November 25th, 2010 | by admin admin | in Safety Advice |    0   comments

Alarm Response - Connecting the pieces for Monitoring Your Home or Business

I go away on vacation a lot, how can I have peace of mind without worrying about who will check out my house? How can I get faster response than the police normally do? And how can I get this for a flat affordable monthly rate and not have to worry about false alarms and police fines?...read more

How do you get peace of mind when you are away on vacation and you get an alarm at your home?

Customers often ask, once I get an alarm how long will it take for the police to respond? Is there an alternative to the dilemma of either sending a friend or relative to respond to a potentially threatening situation or getting a fine from the police for responding to a false alarm?

To answer these questions this article discusses engaging a security officer to attend your home when an alarm system has been activated.This service is called Alarm Response.The security officer is unarmed and is mobile. The promised arrival is within 30 minutes of notification. Depending on the number of officers assigned within that geographic area response could be as short as 5 minutes.

Upon arrival at the site - the security officer checks all the exterior doors, accessible windows and does a full perimeter search. Only after a break in has been confirmed are the police notified by our central station operators.
The cost for retaining a security officer is not extremely affordable. At a rate of per month, usually the annual cost (includes two callouts per year) is less than one police fine responding to a false alarm.

A new customer recounted to me last week their unhappy experience when their home was broken into while on vacation. Their security company didn't have their own central station. The homeowner had also hired directly the security officer to attend in their absence. The monitoring station called the alarm response company in their file. There was a breakdown in the communication and no one attended, resulting in the home being left open and unsecured for a week. This situation illustrates several issuesand evidence of what can go wrong when best practices are not followed.

However with a security officer response services, these issues can be significantly reduced. For example:

The monitoring station is the quarterback for handling the emergency - the monitoring station should be the one engaging the security officer. This closes the loop on accountability to you, the home owner.

The selection of a quality security response service is based on many factors: how many officers are stationed within a geographic area. Most often it is best to engage more than one company so that for each area the best service provider is selected.

How is quality assured?Our standard is that the attending security officer sends an electronic image of each doorway to prove that the door was checked and the right site was attended to. Since we have many clients with the same provider we can demand that our standards are followed - we have more clout. As our sample size is large, you get the benefit of consistently evaluating the quality of the service delivered. If a change in provider is deemed necessary you receive the benefit of the experiences of our other customers.

The central station will keep the homeowner advised as the alarm is responded to and as new information becomes available.

There is no way of predicting when an alarm will take place - relying on a family member or friend to respond late at night is not something you want to have to worry about, nor obligating them to attend.How much better to have a trained professional who has experience in similar situations and will follow safe protocols and thoroughly check the premise and will be accountable to the central station to attend and report promptly.

A mobile security service has significantly better response than police. Due to the high volume of calls and municipal cutbacks, police see attending an alarm as a low priority callout. In some jurisdictions (e.g. Vancouver) police will not even attend unless a break-in has been verified.

In summary, these points confirm that without a security officer's response as part of your monitoring package you have a major hole in your overall security strategy.

Author: Robert Baxter, President Vancouver Fire and Radius Security

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