Research: Residential Security Demand & Preferences for New Alerts

Consumers want limitations on the number of alerts provided and have different preferences for where they are notified based on security system type.

Research: Residential Security Demand & Preferences for New Alerts

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Reduction of false alarms is a major goal for device manufacturers in home security and involves some of the system’s most advanced technology. Parks Associates research reveals that most owners report experiencing a false alarm in the past 12 months.

With 62% able to recall a false alarm in the past 12 months, and nearly 1-in-10 reporting they experienced more than five, it’s clear why false alarms are such a common topic of discussion among security system owners, dealers, and monitoring providers.

New state and municipality-led initiatives to fine security providers for false alarms instead of home dwellers continue. Many of these laws require some form of prior verification of a real emergency before contacting emergency responders.

The security industry has scored some recent wins against these local false-alarm fines: Georgia recently joined California, Florida, New Jersey, Texas, Tennessee and Iowa in banning local municipalities from fining security providers for the false alarms caused by their customers. Still, the continued adoption of sensor-based and video verification approaches will help the industry reduce false alarms organically and obviate the need for such laws.

Alerts for break-ins, vehicle theft, and fire are clear must-haves for most security system owners. The difference in responses to “breaking into the home” and other criminal activities implies a desire to be alerted to threats to the sanctity of the home and preserve the property inside.

Consumers want limitations on the number of alerts provided, especially in limited alerts that share only essential information. Owners may view a report on these events but not want an alert where there isn’t an imminent threat.

Additionally, the development and integration of AI and video verification solutions are important initiatives in the industry to reduce false alarms and obviate the need for such laws. Monitoring providers like Rapid Response Monitoring and Noonlight increasingly use AI-powered video verification to verify an alert is real before the alert is sent up to monitoring personnel, which can help drive ever lower-priced monitoring services. Noonlight provides monitoring for Wyze and Canary security products for just $10 per month to the end user.

Parks Associates research reports that siren, phone call, and in-app alerts are the most preferred alert methods regardless of device ownership. Security system owners with pro-monitoring most prefer hearing from their pro-monitoring company via phone.

Meanwhile, among consumers with devices other than phones and security panels, the additional device is generally competing for fourth or fifth place behind the top three preferred. The in-app alert is a new addition from the smartphone era but otherwise the legacy processes continue to be favored by owners.

Chris White is Senior Analyst, Parks Associates.

SSI has partnered with Parks Associates for the creation of DIY FYI, a column designed to help dealers keep track of important smart home market developments, what the competition is and whether they want to jump into something they see as a new opportunity.

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