Many states have begun taking unique steps to try and reduce the number of false alarms that police and/or fire departments are dispatched to. In an attempt to limit these “false dispatches” states such as Florida, Delaware, Tennessee, Virginia, and Texas (allowable but not yet required) are the first to adopt enhanced call verification procedures for alarm systems in an attempt to save time and money for emergencies that really require the assistance of these professionals.
Traditionally an alarm signal is sent to a central monitoring station. The central station operator is then supposed to call the premise to see if there is someone there that is available to provide the correct pass code in the event of a false alarm. If the central station operator can not reach anyone at the premise then with a “non enhanced call verification procedure” they would directly call the responding police department or fire department to respond. With an “enhanced call verification alarm” the same procedures would happen, but in the event the contact at the premise can not be reached the central station operator would call at least one additional number (at least two phone calls) on the call list (the second phone number is usually a cell phone number). If that second number was unsuccessful as well, then the central station operator protocol is to call the police and/or fire department immediately.
Studies found on average that by making the central station operator make a minimum of two calls before dispatching there was a higher likelihood of reaching someone who could determine if the alarm signal was indeed a false alarm. Studies estimate that this enhanced call verification procedure directly results in a 30-50% reduction in false alarms. Smaller municipalities deal with false alarms differently, but overall the trend of adopting ordinances like “enhanced call verification” is growing in an attempt to try and combat the time and costs of unneeded dispatches.
GeoArm’s Videofied product provides another layer of scrutiny. When an alarm occurs, a Videofied system sends a 10 second clip to the GeoArm central station where a trained operator immediately views and interprets the clip. If an operator determines the video to show a burglary or other crime in progress, he or she can immediately dispatch the police. Burglary in progress dispatches get expedited response from most authorities compared to a traditional alarm system dispatch. The operator can also determine from the video other common causes of a false alarm such as a restless pet and prevent the alarm system owner from potentially incurring false alarm fees.