How Does Alarm Monitoring Work?
One of the most important features offered by any home security system is alarm monitoring, and all of the best home security companies offer this service. Many people looking for a home security solution gloss over this feature though, and instead look at the more obvious features, such as CCTV cameras and audible alarms. So, why is alarm monitoring so important and how exactly does it work? Read on to find out…
What is Alarm Monitoring?
Alarm monitoring is the process of your alarm sending an instant message to your security company’s office, notifying them that an alarm has been triggered. This process is virtually instantaneous, meaning that they know about the activation as soon as the alarm begins to sound. The monitoring company is then able to respond to the situation in the appropriate manner.
The information sent to the alarm company is sent by the central panel of your home, and this panel is able to send many different pieces of information. It could be that a sensor has been triggered; that a smoke alarm is sounding; or that movement has been picked up on a CCTV camera. Regardless of the type of activation, the company will have specific procedures, which you’ll have been made aware of before signing the contract. Most alarm companies receive these notifications through a phone line, however it is possible to have backup systems in place should the phone line be damaged, either accidentally or deliberately.
How Does it Work?
When there is an initial activation, the security company will generally attempt to make contact with the property owner, in order to ascertain whether the activation is genuine or not. If it is a false alarm, the alarm will be ignored, however if they can’t contact you they will then move on to the next stage, which is contacting the relevant authority. For example, if it is a smoke alarm activation, they’ll contact the fire service, while if it is an intruder alarm, the police will be called. Because they have already attempted to contact you and received no response, it should ensure that the response from the emergency services is quicker than usual.
It should be noted that not all systems have this way of working. Some will contact the emergency services before any call is made, and some might require you to give a password in order to confirm that they are speaking to the correct person. It is also possible to get security systems that have silent alarms, so that intruders are not alerted when an alarm sounds.
When the company contacts the police, fire service or any other organization, they will already have information ready to give to them. This could include information on access codes to get into your apartment building, as well as important information regarding the part of the property that has potentially been broken in to, or where a fire could have started. This will all add up to help with a better response to any emergency.
Is Alarm Monitoring Necessary?
The simple answer to this question is “yes”! If you are going to invest in a home security solution, it makes sense for someone to monitor it. If you skip this step, many intruders will simply not care that an alarm is sounding, as they will know that they have a reasonable amount of time before anyone gets round to calling the police. And if a fire alarm goes off? Well, your property will already be severely damaged before anyone notices from the outside. So, make sure you get a monitoring service from any home security provider, as it is an essential part of any home security system!