Keeping Customers in Control
False alarms originate in customer locations where neither a security professional nor police are typically present. This makes it critical that those customers grasp the proper operation of their system, local permitting requirements and ordinances, what to expect in the event of an alarm, how to handle a false alarm, and the need to minimize unwarranted response by the authorities.
Among the ways this is accomplished before and during a sale: advertising, sales literature and contract must give a realistic expectation of the response that will be made when an alarm occurs; salespeople must explain, prior to installation, local requirements for permits, permit fees and fines for false alarms, if applicable, and assist the customer in obtaining a required permit; and documentation should be provided to the customer that explains the false dispatch issue and tips to reduce the risk of a false dispatch.
Once the sale is made, installers or other employees must instruct new customers about: proper use of the system; if a seven-day test period is used, describe how the alarms will be handled; how to select an arm/disarm code and an identity code; how to determine appropriate entry and exit delay periods; how to prevent false alarms that could occur with the system just installed; how to cancel an alarm or request for dispatch; how to contact the installing or monitoring company for assistance; how to obtain service when the alarm system malfunctions; how an answering machine or “call waiting” may affect alarm verification and cancellation procedures; and how DSL, VoIP or other services may impact the alarm system.
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