PDQ Award Honors Brink’s Success in Reducing False Alarms


Brink’s Home Security has been awarded the 2nd Annual Police Dispatch Quality Award (PDQ) for excellence in minimizing false police dispatches in Montgomery County (Md.). The Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA) and Security Sales & Integration sponsor the award.

In winning the 2006 PDQ honor, Brink’s demonstrated its commitment to false alarm reduction through its very low police dispatch rates, says FARA President Norma Beaubien.

Brink’s Home Security has a combined residential and commercial police dispatch rate in Montgomery County of .17, which places it in the top 1 percent of lowest dispatch rates for companies with more than 50 customers in the county. The national average for police dispatch rates is nearly 1.0, which means every alarm system has at least one false alarm every year.

“Public safety personnel respond to less than one false alarm for Brink’s Home Security customers every five years, which is truly remarkable,” Beaubien told SSI.

Brink’s installs control panels that meet the SIA CP-01 control panel standard, approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), which are proven to reduce false dispatches. Brink’s also voluntarily employs the use of enhanced call verification (ECV), which entails an alarm company making two calls in an attempt to verify an alarm signal before requesting a public safety dispatch.

“They are seriously committed to training their service and installation technicians, who, in turn, provide outstanding instruction to each and every customer on the appropriate use and operation of the alarm system, as well as how to avoid false dispatches,” Beaubien says.

Dave Simon, senior manager of industry and public relations for Brink’s, says the company made a commitment nearly 10 years ago to explore ways to reduce false alarms.

“Our goal was to do that not only as a company, but also by participating in alarm industry associations and by sharing what we’ve learned,” he says. “We changed some processes internally – like ECV and targeted customer training – that clearly demonstrated results. We are extremely pleased to receive the PDQ award because it recognizes our company-wide effort.”

As the PDQ winner, Brink’s will be formally recognized with a special plaque at SSI‘s SAMMY Awards gala March 27 at 4:30 p.m. at the Venetian Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Their trip to the event will be funded by Honeywell’s $1,000 sponsorship. Also for its winning efforts, Brink’s and a local law enforcement representative will receive a hometown ceremony, and the company will share its best practices in an upcoming feature article in SSI.

SIAC, FARA and SSI launched the PDQ program to stem the false alarm problem by recognizing those installing and monitoring companies that follow established industry practices and partner with law enforcement to achieve the highest quality in police dispatch requests. Pittsburgh-based Vector Security captured the inaugural award for 2005.

The 2006 PDQ Award runner-up, Alarm Detection Systems (ADS) of Aurora, Ill., also distinguished itself as a leader in false alarm prevention initiatives throughout its company, Beaubien says.

ADS employs a full-time false alarm team that tracks alarm usage for all customers and pays onsite visits to “high frequency offenders.” The false alarm team manager has the authority to initiate system repairs in the event of equipment-related false alarms.

More details of the PDQ Award program will be featured in the March issue of SSI and subsequent feature later in the year.

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