How Technology Partners Are Working With Monitoring Stations to Reduce False Alarms
False alarm reduction is a real opportunity for professional security providers to differentiate themselves from DIY competitors.
False alarms are an ongoing challenge for the security industry. Today’s systems are better and better at giving property owners comfort in their home and environment. With pro systems especially, from a customer’s perspective, knowing that the whole system as well as your security provider and the monitoring station are there for you is very reassuring.
A wide array of new entrants in the home security market have recently attracted the attention of some consumers and raised concerns among security providers. However, these new entrants have been unable to mitigate the risk of a false alarm and change the seemingly archaic measures required to cancel an alarm, which can lessen one’s comfort and peace of mind.
False alarm reduction is a real opportunity for professional security providers to differentiate themselves.
Technology providers are working side-by-side with security companies and monitoring stations to address this issue with solutions that make it easier for everyone to communicate during an alarm situation, when it matters most.
For example, Alarm.com partnered with central stations to develop the Smart Signal feature of its mobile app. When an alarm is triggered, property owners can use a button in their app to cancel a false alarm or verify an emergency without a phone call. A quick glance at a camera feed helps owners understand the cause of an alarm before choosing to cancel or verify.
Other improvements include remote disarming from the property owner’s mobile device and integrated smart locks. Homeowners create personal codes for family, neighbors or dog walkers which also disarm the system automatically when used to open a smart lock — helping ensure that no one will set off the alarm or need to touch the security panel.
Direct integrations with monitoring stations let customers manage who gets called during an alarm so that the right people are contacted, reducing the chance of a false alarm being escalated.
Those same integrations provide the customer an easy way to access and recall their unique verbal passcode. Forgetting this important passcode, which monitoring stations use to verify an alarm cancellation, can also lead to false alarm dispatches.
Monitoring stations also benefit from these advancements. New signal protocols allow homeowners to give monitoring stations access to more information. If a customer chooses, their monitoring station will be able to view their camera feeds during an alarm to assess the situation.
Even if the customer can’t be reached, monitoring station operators can gather more information to convey to first responders when true emergencies arise.
False alarms remain expensive and continue to impact the valuable resources needed for true emergencies. However, new security system technology and industry partnerships provide greater opportunities to reduce false alarms than ever before, which is good news for property owners, local jurisdictions and security professionals alike.
Adam Brandfass is Senior Product Manager for Alarm.com.
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Hey Adam, first off, LOVED the article. Very well written. Quick question: If a homeowner allows a monitoring station to view their camera feeds during an alarm to assess a situation, and the monitoring station sees nothing amiss in the footage, are they actually able to mark it as a false alarm? What if a burglar has entered the home in a blind spot? It seems that this feature only increases the time asked of the people at the monitoring stations.