5-Year Study of Verified Alarms in New England Shows Fire Is Biggest Threat to Properties

The study was completed by American Alarm and Communications by analyzing data collected at the company’s monitoring center from 2014 to 2018.

5-Year Study of Verified Alarms in New England Shows Fire Is Biggest Threat to Properties

Arlington, Mass.-based American Alarm and Communications provides security and monitoring services throughout the New England region.

ARLINGTON, Mass. —  A new study of verified alarms from homes and businesses across Greater Boston and Central New England shows that fire is the biggest risk for both residential and commercial properties in the region, followed by burglaries which tend to spike in the summer and winter months.

These and other findings are reported in the study “Regional Security Report: Five-Year Study of Verified Alarms, 2014-2018” completed by American Alarm and Communications.

verified alarms

During the study’s five-year period, the command center staff handled 1,644 verified alarms.

“Given our monitoring footprint in New England, and our systems for tracking alarm events, we use this data to understand local trends and to help people better manage risk in their homes or places of business,” says Wells Sampson, president of American Alarm, a 2019 SSI Industry Hall of Fame inductee. “When we decided to look at five years of data, and saw the results, we felt there would be public benefit if we released the information so everyone in our region is aware of these trends.”

The study analyzed data collected at the company’s monitoring center that tracks activity from its professionally installed and maintained security and life-safety systems at nearly 30,000 locations, primarily in Greater Boston, Central Massachusetts, Rhode Island and southern New Hampshire.

During the five-year period studied, 1,644 verified alarms occurred, including 532 fire alarms, 333 intrusion alarms, 224 elevator entrapments and 185 panic alarms (also called hold-up alarms).

A verified alarm is defined as a signal caused by an actual event that posed a threat and required intervention.


To view a slideshow of charts that illustrate results from the study, click here.


American Alarm and Communications was founded in 1971 in Winchester, Mass., by Richard “Dick” Sampson, Charles Staples and Bruce Wedlock, three engineers who met at MIT. They were early innovators of the electronic fire alarm industry, and eventually expanded into security systems.

The company has grown over the years to become a comprehensive security and life-safety systems integration and monitoring firm. It employs 270 people at six locations in New England, including Arlington, Auburn, Randolph and Weymouth, Mass.; Warwick, R.I., and Manchester, N.H.

American Alarm provides services for all classes of property, from single-family homes to businesses large and small, to major public and historic venues, along with being a certified Homeland Security provider for state and federal governments.

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