With more than 32 million alarm systems in use throughout the United States, public safety and alarm industry leaders are designing proven programs to reduce the number of false alarms.
"Public safety officials recognize the important role alarm systems play in protecting life and property," said Stan Martin, executive director of the Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC). "Our shared goal is protecting the public."
Working with SIAC, police organizations in thirteen states have implemented state-wide alarm management committees that bring together law enforcement and alarm industry leadership. Several states have implemented state-wide requirements that new alarm panels meet CP-01 specifications which reduce operator errors-the main cause of false alarms.
SIAC offers municipalities a Model Alarm Ordinance that requires registration of alarm systems with local police, a graduated fine structure, new equipment standards, suspension of response to chronic abusers and Enhanced Call Verification (ECV). ECV (two-call verification) requires that alarm monitoring stations attempt to confirm an alarm by calling the site and the alarm user to determine whether the signal is valid before requesting dispatch.
In Seattle, Wash., SIAC said that a commitment to ECV and other recommended measures resulted in a 71 percent reduction in emergency calls for dispatch. Olympia, Wash. also had an 80 percent reduction in police dispatch to alarm calls. The model ordinance also allows for cost recovery to help communities generate revenue to offset the expense of administering the ordinance and defray the cost of police response.