False dispatches cause some law enforcement agencies to rethink their response policies, thus impacting the value of monitored systems in the eyes of subscribers. While protocols like the Security Industry Alarm Coalition’s (SIAC) Enhanced Call Verification (ECV) are very effective, some emergency response agencies require more information about what is happening at a premise before dispatching police.
This is where video verification can not only salvage the value of your subscriber base, but increase it. The chief reason being that video verification usually delivers faster police response. If a central station operator sees a human in the video and the ECV process cannot verify that person is authorized to be in the premise, the monitor reports this to the police dispatcher. This can result in a priority response, more captures and reduced insurance losses.
Should an operator receive a video clip with no human present, verification calls are still made. If the alarm is not cancelled by an authorized person, a request for dispatch still happens like a regular alarm.
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How Video Verification Works
To those who are unfamiliar, video verification documents a change in local conditions. When a sensor goes into alarm, cameras record clips or open a feed to live video at the premise. The video and/or notification to view the live feed are sent to a central station where operators survey the situation.
With video evidence and other means of verification, such as audio or cross-zoning, central station operators can tell dispatchers more about what is happening at a property. As such, the quality of the process improves, raising the priority for dispatch and hastening response. This is in line with the protocol followed by most law enforcement agencies across the United States.
This is the procedure that the Central Station Alarm Association’s (CSAA) existing ANSI standard for video verification prescribes and it is an excellent starting point from which the industry can advance with input from law enforcement and the insurance industry. It is important for installing security companies to know that video verification is completely dependent on central station service.
Road to Making Gains
For video verification to truly gain acceptance by all ancillary industry stakeholders — from end users, police and the insurance industry — there must be uniformity in how it is applied. With several years of field experience gained by industry stakeholders, some of the advancements for the next generation of verification are being implemented.
Differentiations can be made for residential, commercial and high-value commercial, as well as interior and exterior applications. Within the commercial realm, there are different risk levels to be accounted for, such as the potential loss at a big-box electronics store compared with a sporting goods store that has a stock of weapons and ammunition.
Fortunately, one distinction everyone agrees upon is that professionally installed and monitored systems will garner prioritized response that DIY, self-monitored systems will not enjoy. That alone gives alarm contractors a tremendous selling point to current and prospective customers, especially as some of the largest technology companies enter into the smart-home market with automation systems and smoke/CO detector devices.
While the industry works on these issues, whatever the final form of this standard ends up being, video verification will deliver value for every stakeholder in the battle against property crime. Alarm system owners will get a fast police response and installing contractors will benefit from satisfied customers. At the same time, police remove criminals from the streets and the insurance industry cuts down on claims they have to pay out now and in the future.
The new video verification standard will be a win for everyone involved.