The most effective alarm systems can quickly notify emergency responders. A triggered system can automatically notify a monitoring center, and a monitoring center agent can efficiently dispatch emergency personnel. Here are top companies with setups for fast response.
When a security alarm is triggered, police response time is influenced by three main factors: security system quality, monitoring center quality and police protocol. Read on for details that can help you get emergency help as quickly as possible.
SECURITY SYSTEMS AND MONITORING CENTERS
What does “response time” mean in the home security industry? It does not refer to police arrival time. Rather, response time describes how quickly a security monitoring center handles potential security breaches: the time taken to receive alerts, process information and contact authorities. The best security companies get the job done in under a minute. With wireless DIY systems, owners can help prevent delay of the first step — receiving alerts — through smart placement of their base stations. (A common mistake is keeping the base station in a closet, which limits its range.) For the next steps — evaluating alerts and contacting authorities — the best home security companies use efficient technologies and ensure that well-trained operators are readily available.
LAWS, POLICE PROTOCOL AND RESPONSE TIMES
Home security response times may be influenced by local alarm-related laws. For example, Verified Response (VR) laws have been enacted because false alarms are problematic: When police are speedily dispatched to non-emergency situations, community resources are wasted. VR laws prioritize alarms that are accompanied either by eyewitness reports, audio or video of crime. Therefore home security systems with panic buttons, audio and video monitoring are advantageous. Laws can also require that security companies try to rule out false alarms before dispatching police. Thus security monitoring services that use text messaging can speed up emergency dispatching.
Whatever your budget, you can choose a home security system known for fast response.
Here are features to look for.
Home security systems have preset delays: Entering an armed home, the owner typically has 30 seconds to provide a deactivation code. But is 30 seconds too much “free time” for intruders? The best alarm systems let owners shorten the delay.
Home intruders sometimes break alarm system control panels. However, the best control panels respond to tampering by sending emergency alerts. Police are sent automatically; verification of an intrusion isn’t needed.
Home alarm systems can connect to monitoring centers via cellular connections, landlines and broadband internet. In many cases cellular monitoring is the most reliable and can bring the best response time.
To help ensure rapid response, the best security companies provide redundant or backup monitoring. Examples of redundant monitoring are using multiple servers, having multiple monitoring centers, and assigning a landline as backup to a cellular connection.
To guarantee fast response times, the best security companies focus on high quality staffing. They ensure that emergency operators are skilled and readily available at all hours.
As mentioned above, Verified Response laws require evidence of a break-in before police can be dispatched. Glass break sensors detect the specific sound of glass breaking, so their presence can help bring emergency response more quickly.
Panic buttons installed around the home can bring an especially fast response. When a security monitoring company receives a panic button signal, an operator can dispatch emergency help immediately. Law doesn’t require that they verify help is needed.
Wireless home security systems can be controlled with keychain-sized gadgets. These remote controls are mainly used to arm/disarm homes, but they also have emergency alert buttons. These alert buttons can trigger emergency dispatching.
The best wireless security companies have developed free mobile apps. Their apps let customers access system activity -- camera footage included -- at any time. Mobile apps help alarm owners quickly summon help and easily cancel false alarms.