Keeping Up with the Times
With many new advances in technology burglar alarms have had to grow and adapt to the market. With products out there that reduce the cost of these systems by either eliminating monitoring, allowing users to install there own systems, or Camera and DVR systems at big box stores many people have begun to question the place of security systems in today's small business environment. Since then the burglar alarm business has began to grow into the automation business. We do not believe that the traditional burglar alarm system has faded from importance, but some people may be able to get by with smaller lower priced systems or systems that do not offer a traditional monitoring service.
Advantages of Central Station Monitoring
Central Station Monitoring still offers advantages to systems that either do not offer monitoring or monitor to a users cell phone. For one, central station monitoring stations have to apply with many stringent guidelines that a cell phone does not meet. No one is available 24 / 7, regardless of how much time people tend to spend on there phones now. There are times where service is unavailable, or you are in an area either without your phone or with your phone on silent. Central Stations maintain a list of contacts and will work their way down the list to make contact with someone from the premises, a family member, friend or a neighbor. Why rely upon yourself alone to see the alarm. If you are relying on your phone to verify the accuracy of your alarm with your cameras, this delay to get the message and then to connect could also delay response times. Central Stations have several lines of communication, are able to monitor using internet and phone providing a back up for your panel in the event that one or the other services is down at your house.
Unreliability of Cell Phone Monitoring
In the event of a real emergency such as a fire or burglary, you would have to call and report the incident. Depending on whether you are in the same fire or police district you will have to be relocated to a different 911 center, or the information given by the user will be transferred to the correct dispatch center. This results in a delay for the communication or call to reach the designated emergency response agency. Central Stations have all the correct contact information for your dispatch center and will let them know the nature of the emergency, the location and type of sensor, whether or not the user was contacted, the location of a key or the contact info for a key holder, and whether or not the alarm was verified. All this is a practiced and conditioned response, designed to get the agencies responding to your emergency with all of the information that they need.
Systems Without Monitoring
For systems that do not have monitoring capabilities, all of the above functions are voided. The most common criticism of monitored alarm service is the monthly cost, the frequency of false alarms and the late or lack of response by law enforcement agencies. The monthly cost is often viewed as the price of an optional accessory to the system, not an essential part. A security system without the monitoring is taking away the best feature of the system.
Alarm System have recently undergone changes to reduce the chance of false alarms. False alarm ordinances in municipalities and towns discouraged people to purchase systems that could result in penalties and fines. Organizations intervened to create a new standard for keypads and panels known as CP-01. This approach simplified keypads to lower the number of false alarms created by user error. Wifi enabled Motion Sensors and other devices allow photos to be taken of the alarm triggering event. Therefore, the user could examine the causes of false alarms and make changes to correct any issues. Proper instruction and frequent use of alarms further eliminates user errors. The user should not be nervous using their alarm system, it should become habit. As long as the user knows the pass code, if Central Station calls the user can cancel response before dispatch is notified.
True Alarms security accounts are monitored by Security Central in Statesville, NC. The company is a family owned company that has been around for fifty years. The facility is UL listed and has one other location in Hickory, NC.
Delayed Response or Lack of Response
The late or lack of response from law enforcement will correct itself over time as false alarms are reduced. Fire Department responses have not been as affected by false alarms, often times you still get one truck emergency traffic. Patterns of sensors have begun to eliminate whether an alarm is true in nature. From the police perspective, if a front door burg zone goes into alarm, and is quickly followed by an ambush code, this indicates a strong possibility of a break in. From the Fire perspective, if one smoke detector activates and is followed by 2 more or a pull station this would indicate a strong possibility of a fire. This information is relayed to dispatch and the responding agency will step up there response. However, it is not all about the response. Let's say there is an alarm system installed in an area where response to alarms is not always guaranteed. If your door is kicked in, wouldn't you still like to know? What if it is a garage door and when you left the door did not close because something fell in front of it. The customer just left the house, the system armed in 60 seconds and went into alarm because the door was not closed. The user could cancel response by giving the appropriate pass code, return to his / her residence and close the door. Without the system and the monitoring the user would have left there door wide open all day. There is still very much a place for monitored alarm systems today.