In an effort to combat false alarms, legislators in states across the country are moving towards reducing the amount of time law enforcement spends responding to them. Georgia has approved “enhanced call verification” (ECV) which will require central monitoring stations to make two telephone calls to alarm owners, prior to dispatching the police. According to the Security Industry Alarm Coalition, enactment of this program statewide in the states of Florida and Tennessee have reduced dispatches by 70%. Georgia, Florida and Tennessee aren’t alone. According to Dayton Ohio Police Chief Richard Biehl, “There are departments and jurisdictions that have taken bold steps, like verified response, to contain the demand that is being placed on police service and that is providing no value to the citizens and no value to public safety.” Many local and county law enforcement will not respond to an alarm, unless it has been verified first.
Definition of a false alarm and causes
A False Alarm, is any alarm requiring police response, with no evidence of an actual crime having been committed. Unfortunately, 98% of conventional system alarms are false.
75% of those are caused by user error which includes:
- Forgetting to turn the alarm off when entering a building
- Setting the alarm while the building is still occupied
- Failure to train authorized personnel
- Failure to notify your alarm company of unscheduled openings and closings
- Failure to update personnel list with monitoring facility
- Failure to secure doors and windows before setting alarms
Delay in Police response time
Implementation of these measures will delay police response time for users of a conventional system. Your monitoring company will be required to contact at least two people to verify that there is criminal activity in progress. This can be a problem if you are an authorized user and you are on vacation. Before police can respond, you need to contact someone to check on your home or business to verify criminal activity. Only when criminal activity is verified can law enforcement be dispatched.
False alarms can be expensive
To deter law enforcement response to unnecessary alarms, many cities and counties have started charging for false alarms. For example, here in Evansville Indiana, after two false alarms, the user will be sent a notice from the police department stating that they may be fined if police respond to another false alarm.
Then the fines start:
- 3 – 9 false alarms: $55.00 per alarm
- 10 – 14 false alarm: $100.00 per alarm
- 15 + false alarms: $200.00 per alarm
This can get quite expensive for a user if measures are not taken to prevent these alarms.
How to prevent false alarms?
The best way to prevent a false alarm is:
- Hire a security guard to sit in front of your home or business whenever you are gone.
- Use a verified alarm system.
What is a verified alarm system?
A verified alarm, means that someone has heard or seen someone in your building. The links below are actual apprehensions by law enforcement, using audio and video detection