Inside Guardian’s PDQ Award-Winning False Alarm Reduction Techniques
Guardian Protection earned the 2019 Police Dispatch Quality Award by exercising proven best practices to determine if police response is warranted. Here’s how.
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How has Guardian’s alarm management evolved in recent years, and how does it feel for the firm to capture its first PDQ Award in the program’s 14-year history?
BRADLEY: To a certain extent, the foundational approaches to alarm management have remained constant over the years. If you sell quality products, designed well, professionally installed and monitored by the best monitoring centers in the business that we are proud to operate, you have the key building blocks. Guardian’s proactive approach to false alarm management reaches back to at least 2007, as one of the first companies to be awarded the False Alarm Reduction Association’s (FARA) False Alarm Reduction Achievement Award.
What has certainly made a difference over the years is business intelligence, the ability to effectively mine data for faster analysis and response. Couple that with user accessibility like our EdgePro application and it makes for a winning combination. As for the PDQ program, we’ve aspired to achieving this award for years, and we’re extremely honored to receive it. We first promoted the award internally and fueled engagement by holding a celebration for our employees at corporate headquarters.
14 PDQ BEST PRACTICES
1. Advertising, sales literature provide realistic expectation of alarm response
2. Salespeople explain permitting requirements, fees and fines
3. Use of Enhanced Call Confirmation (ECC, formerly ECV)
4. Contact customers after every false alarm
5. Track worst false alarm offenders and take action if needed
6. Instruct customer on verification process and keep call lists updated
7. Ongoing communications with customers
8. Installers have minimum NTS Level I or II training
9. In-house training must be led by credentialed instructors
10. Customers thoroughly instructed on all system operations
11. Checklists used for installers and customers
12. Unique or additional initiatives (e.g. video verification)
13. Development of strong working relationship with local law enforcement
14. Properly calculating and actively reducing false dispatch rate
The PDQ trophy was featured in the cafeteria for everyone to see, after being carried through a high-fiving party in our monitoring center complete with confetti and cake! Our employee intranet featured the story and the photos, and our Instagram feed featured a snippet of video from the event and posted stories as #GuardianProud.
From an external marketing perspective, in June we sent a press release to media in all of our major markets, developed a relevant blog post, noted the honor in our customer newsletter and also promoted it through social media. For example, an image series was posted on Facebook called “What Award-Winning Monitoring Means” that highlighted the PDQ aspect as “a direct line to law enforcement.” On LinkedIn, we posted the Security Sales & Integration article plus SIAC’s blog post. We continue to tout the accolade on guardianprotection.com and a cover video on our Facebook site features the PDQ Award, which is proudly displayed in the lobby of our corporate headquarters for visitors to see upon arrival.
What role does Guardian Protection’s participation in The Monitoring Association’s ASAP-to-PSAP play? Why is it important for the industry?
BRADLEY: Guardian was one of the first financial supporters of TMA’s ASAP program, helping establish the funding to develop and bring to fruition this tremendous platform to PSAPs and industry partners alike. When we activated the ASAP service within our own monitoring centers, our marketing team heavily promoted the benefits of the service to media and local outlets, bringing further awareness of the program. Additionally, in a joint venture with another alarm company for the betterment of our industry, we met with the Monroeville Police Department [Pa.] to discuss the benefits of the ASAP program. We are proud to announce that, together, we successfully influenced Monroeville PD to join ASAP just two months after the meeting and they are now an active PSAP.
ASAP-to-PSAP is important for the industry because the amazing functionality that the program offers not only benefits the alarm industry, but also exponentially helps PSAPs control labor costs and enjoy other important benefits. It’s a win-win. Guardian is connected to every participating PSAP and will continue efforts to promote and expand the platform.
Looking at the industry, what do you believe is going to happen with police response to burglar alarm systems? The situation seems to be improving, but pockets of problems still pop up; why?
BRADLEY: We strongly believe in the partnership between our industry and police departments across the nation. We, as an industry, provide valuable data that relates to unwanted activity in our neighborhoods — data that is actionable by first responders that makes those communities safer. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship. But we do understand that pockets of resistance exist, that don’t see the benefits as we do. This is a strength of our country, freedom of choice. But the constituents of those areas also have the freedom to elect officials that represent their wishes accordingly … we know what we would vote for: partnership and safer communities!
What is the PDQ program’s value to the industry and making a difference?
BRADLEY: Without AHJs’ vital emergency response to real alarms, it significantly constrains the ability of our shared industry, not from a selfish revenue growth prospective, but in that it limits our ability to protect people in their time of real need. This is a concern that we know we share with every dedicated emergency responder. We do not want to live in a world so polluted by integrator and/or industry failure to deploy best dispatch reduction techniques, that responding agencies withdraw response completely.
This scenario offers no winners, especially to community residents that we jointly serve and protect. By rewarding and recognizing monitoring companies that strive to reduce false alarm dispatches, the PDQ program helps to ensure the future of responsive AHJs, the future of quality monitoring service and the future of well-protected communities.
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