SIAC and FARA Leaders Say Industry Is Managing Alarms Better

The October edition of SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION, the 2012 Alarm Response Issue, features a cover story on the Police Dispatch Quality (PDQ) Award program. To whet your appetitte for it, I asked two of the false alarm management and false dispatch reduction program judges to weigh in on where the industry currently stands in these efforts and why the importance of the PDQ Award. Below is what Ron Walters, director of the Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), and Gerry Miller, immediate past president of the False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), had to say.

How do you believe the industry is doing overall in the area of alarm management? What are the victories and remaining challenges?

Ron Walters: The industry has made great strides in the past decade. We have lowered average dispatches to residential occupancies down to .20, or one dispatch per system every five years. We even have reports from several law enforcement agencies that 85% of all systems have no dispatches in any given year and another 10% have only one. With that said, there are many companies that still have not applied two-call verification or Enhanced Call Verification [ECV]  to their entire account base and even some who refuse to use it at all. There is a huge gap in our communication with those companies that are not part of the mainstream industry. Until we can open those channels we will fall short of our full potential to once and for all address this issue. Gerry

Gerry Miller: The Industry has come a long way in improving their standards and working with law enforcement. The ever-changing technology has assisted in alarm management and false alarm reduction.  Security systems have become an important part of crime prevention for the home and business owner as well as law enforcement.  There are still areas that we are hoping for improvement.  We are still seeing some poorly installed systems. Training of the home/business owner before they start using the system could be improved and monitoring stations operators could be trained to filter more dispatches in an attempt to reduce false dispatches.

Why is the PDQ program important and valuable for the alarm industry? Why should companies participate in the program?

Walters: Most awards are intended to acknowledge effort that is above the competition. This is important as you are instantly recognized by your peers, as well as providing confirmation that the effort put forth was worthwhile. At the same time the PDQ Award should motivate everyone to work toward the same level of success.

Miller: The PDQ Award is an important award. It is achievable for all companies large or small,  thus they can set an example for others. It gives the industry a chance to showcase its accomplishments and an opportunity to be acknowledge for its good work.

To enter your company for next year’s PDQ recognition, click here.

Scott Goldfine

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About the Author


Scott Goldfine is Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Security Sales & Integration. Well-versed in the technical and business aspects of electronic security (video surveillance, access control, systems integration, intrusion detection, fire/life safety), Goldfine is nationally recognized as an industry expert and speaker. Goldfine is involved in several security events and organizations, including the Electronic Security Association (ESA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), ASIS Int'l and more. Goldfine also serves on several boards, including the SIA Marketing Committee, CSAA Marketing and Communications Committee, PSA Cybersecurity Advisory Council and Robolliance. He is a certified alarm technician, former cable-TV tech, audio company entrepreneur, and lifelong electronics and computers enthusiast. Goldfine joined Security Sales & Integration in 1998.

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