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False Alarms Shouldn’t Be a Reason Not to Have an Alarm System

One of the most common reasons we hear for people not having an alarm system is, “I’d probably just have false alarms all the time”.  This is a valid concern considering that most municipalities will actually bill a user for alarm response after a certain, fixed number of false alarms in a one year period (generally speaking, this number is 3 per year).  (And, 99% of alarms are actually false).

False alarms where police are dispatched are certainly not a good thing.  Many police agencies will brand homes or businesses with regular false alarms as a problem property and will take their time attending to a dispatch request at that address.  This is obviously a problem if there is an actual, true reason for dispatching.

Sierra Security employs several different procedural rules to prevent police from being dispatched needlessly.  Our goal is to make sure your alarm system is effective and that police are only dispatched in a real burglary situation.

1)  Every system user is trained by our installer, not only on how to use the system itself, but how a central station operator is going to respond to an alarm situation for this particular user.  Knowing how the entire process works, from the alarm being triggered to a police car rolling to the property, is key to preventing false alarm dispatches.

2) Our monitoring center codes each zone, on each alarm system account, with a response code that dictates how an alarm on that zone is to be handled.  The response codes can vary greatly.

The code for “Dispatch 1st”, meaning that as soon as the alarm comes in, the dispatcher calls the correct local authority, is often used with fire alarm devices, hold up alarms and medical panic buttons.  These buttons are deliberately pressed for 2-3 seconds so the chances this is a false alarm are slim.  Time is of the essence.

The other end of the spectrum would be Code 402 which instructs the operator to call every contact on the customer’s list of responsible parties (RP’s), before dispatching police.  This gives 2 or 3 people the ability to call off the dispatch in case of a false alarm (not just anyone can call off a dispatch; they must have the owner’s assigned code word on hand to do so).

3) Our monitoring center can also input custom instructions for specific needs of users.  Several customers have instructed us NOT to dispatch at all unless the operator actually talks with an RP who authorizes us to dispatch.

To clarify, all of these specific response codes are assigned to each ZONE on a system, not to the system as a whole.  This means that all the various devices connected to an alarm system, can each have their own response code.  We regularly monitor systems for burglary, fire, smoke, carbon monoxide, freezing, standing water, motion, glass breakage, etc.  Most of these devices would dictate a specific response code based on the device, the customer and the location of the device.

Free consultations are always available at Sierra Security.  Call today and schedule yours.