Response Lists and Verification

Having an alarm system is a great source of peace of mind, and now adds a level of clarity to what is going on in your home when you are away.

That said, there is one pain point that may always exist in home security. That pain point is the response list, or call-out procedure that will be used in the case of an alarm. Please note that having an alarm is useful. Having a monitored alarm is more useful. Having an alarm that people will respond to is the goal of security.

The reality is that most homes with alarm systems in them will not be broken into. It’s not that you won’t be cased or even targeted by various ne’er-do-wells. The security system’s presence alone will often send ill-intentioned people next door.

There are those who will still attempt the break-in. These burglars are willing and prepared to risk breaching an alarm if they believe the payoff from the robbery is worth it.

It’s this level of criminal that requires a little more attention.

The changes to the Waterloo Regional Police’s alarm response policy will allow them to once again prioritize security system callouts. This policy assumes that home and business owners are up to date with their response lists. Let me explain;

When an alarm in a home or business is triggered, we go through a procedure dictated by our client. Typically we:

  1. Call the Premise to verify needed response
  2. Call the provided keyholder list for further direction
  3. Take any further step agreed upon between H&B and you, as our client

Our monitoring centre agents are prepared to take direction from anyone named on your keyholder list, provided they can give us the password for the alarm.

If you are going to be away from home, let us know. We will need to update your keyholder list with people who will reliably answer in case of alarm. They are the most likely group to know whether or not response is needed.

This keyholder list is, quite literally, the key to Audio generated response from the Regional Police.

We’ve covered multi-zone activation, video verification and eye-witness. Those should be relatively clear. Audio verification is simpler, but also more reliant on the end user.

When we pursue communication with your keyholders, we are going to inform them that there has been an incident with the alarm system. We will seek our next step in responding to that alarm. Your keyholders will be asked for the system number and password for the system. We DO NOT need, nor want, your alarm code. The goal is to verify the alarm and provide the proper action.

Multi-zone activations, for instance, would lead a keyholder to believe that someone is in fact in the home and tripped the alarm. The audio verification method for alarm response dictates that that call must come from the home owner or keyholder for the alarm system. Because the alarm is considered verified response times are shortened and police will be more prepared when they arrive.

If a call list is not kept up to date we will still call through it, but the numbers may not be current and it could result in the alarm not receiving response at all. The same can happen if our keyholder list does not respond to our call outs.

While multi-zone activations can, bring out response that we call out from our station, it is not the fastest nor most efficient way to bring the police to your door. Your communication with them directly will always, and has always, been your best bet for immediate law enforcement attendance. We have always recommended, even before verified response was required, that this be your preferred method.

This makes Audio verification the best, simplest, and oldest response procedure, but also the one that requires the most attention from you. It’s not labor intensive, but it does mean making sure your list is as responsive as possible.

Before you head out for your vacation, let’s take a look at your keyholder list and make sure you are covered while you’re away. It only takes a few minutes, and can be difference between being protected and being exposed. Contact us at ( or call us at 519-578-6268 to check on your list or get an idea of what it would cost to protect your property.