False Alarm Ordinance is becoming increasingly strict across many regions of the United States. As tougher laws, bigger fines and verified response become more common, now is the time for security monitoring companies to prepare to seize the opportunities that come with such changes.
Across the country, cities and states consistently report that as many as 94-99% of burglar alarms triggered are false - at the detriment of 911 resources and taxpayer money. This has led to law enforcement officials implementing various forms of False Alarm Ordinance in their cities, all aimed at tackling this problem and reducing the number of false alarm calls.
However, despite best efforts to reduce false alarms, the problem still persists - meaning more and more municipalities are reviewing their approach to False Alarm Ordinance. But what does this mean for monitoring companies and how can they get on top?
False Alarm Ordinance moves towards visual verification
The most common method of False Alarm Ordinance across the US has long been fines. An example being within the city of Phoenix, where more than one false burglar alarm within a consecutive 365 day period can cost you $96.00 or more. In some regions, this is taken one step further. In cities such as Cincinnati, authorities will no longer respond to false alarms from worst offenders.
But with fines seemingly failing to solve the issue of excessive false alarms, many regions are looking for new solutions - one solution being verified response.
Verified response shifts alarm signal verification to alarm companies by requiring someone like a guard or a CCTV operator to visually verify that a crime has or is occurring prior to police dispatch. Essentially, alarm companies must visually verify that an alarm is caused by a genuine threat before contacting 911. This approach has long been endorsed and followed by law enforcement in a select few municipalities. However 2019 has seen the trend gain traction.
Earlier this year, Sandy Springs updated their false alarm ordinance. As a result of 99% of alarms received by their 911 dispatch centre being false, the city passed an ordinance stating police will not respond to home and business burglary alarms without video, audio or in-person verification that a crime is occurring.
This move made the headlines and is paving the way for more similar developments moving forward.
How can monitoring companies prepare for tougher False Alarm Ordinance
This development in False Alarm Ordinance provides both a challenge and an opportunity for alarm and monitoring companies. So what steps should you take now to prepare for the future?
As False Alarm Ordinance requiring visual verification gains traction, the way in which alarm companies and monitoring stations deliver security solutions must evolve. CCTV provides not just the initial protection, but also the level of visual verification that is becoming essential.
However tackling false alarms must go one step further. To be set up for success, security companies should be looking at how they can reduce false alarms in the first place - before they become a problem. By reducing false alarms before they reach operators, not only will the chance of a false alarm reaching 911 dispatch be greatly reduced, it will also improve overall efficiency, monitoring performance and the customer experience.
Calipsa is providing the solution to false alarm management. Our False Alarm Filtering Platform removes over 85% of CCTV false alarms before they reach an operator, paving the way for better crime detection and prevention. Read more about how it works or start a free trial to see it in action.