Why False Alarms Hurt the Security Industry

  • Cost You: False alarms cost system users $$$.
  • Waste: False alarms waste valuable public safety resources.
  • Delay Response: False alarms can delay response when you really need it.
  • Complacency: Frequent false alarms tend to make responders complacent. Complacency leads to carelessness. Carelessness injures law enforcement & firefighters.
  • Cry Wolf: Can desensitize the community to actual incidents and lead occupants and others to ignore the alarm when it goes off.
  • Can discourage use of alarms: False alarms make owners reluctant to use their system, exposing their home, facility or business to fire and property damage.

Verified Response

Though the alarm industry works very closely in partnership with vast majority of law enforcement, in the last few years a handful of agencies in the U.S. have passed ordinances or policies that severely restrict response to burglar alarm systems.

It is the industries position, based on consumer/customer input that response by a well trained law enforcement professional with arrest powers is a vital part of the deterrence that alarm systems provide. In fact anything short of this is a compromise. That said, the industry acknowledges that factors such as the economy and limited resources could at times impact response times on all lower priority calls.

Removing or restricting response to alarm calls is a restriction of core municipal services and as such any decision to do so should be done with the full knowledge of the general public. At a minimum the industry endorses an open line of communication between officials, both elected and appointed, the public and the alarm industry. Under ideal circumstances there should be a group with representatives from all affected parties that studies the issue and makes recommendations back to the elected body. At the very minimum public hearings should be held with an opportunity for all affected parties to comment.

If all of these steps are taken and the final decision is that a community cannot support continued response to burglar alarm calls by the [police then the industry would support that decision with the following caveats.

  • No restriction should be applied to robbery or panic type alarms.
  • Sufficient time should be provided to allow a smooth transition to a private response.
  • Enhanced verification techniques and equipment should qualify as additional verification.
  • Full restriction of services should only be applied to those that abuse the privilege.

An Important
Tip . . .

Keep Their Call
List Up-To-Date

Make certain that each client updates their emergency call list frequently and include cell phone numbers for the primary users.

You can greatly reduce the opportunity for a false response by the police if you have your central monitoring station call both the site phone number and your cellular prior to dispatching the police