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 being the response list, or call-out procedure that will be used in the case of an alarm.
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, but the security system can add the wrinkle that encourages the criminals to seek an easier or less-risky target.
That said, there are those who will still attempt the break-in. These bolder 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.
Something that the changes to the Waterloo Regional Police’s alarm response policy has done is allow them to once again prioritize security system callouts as long as homeowners have done their due diligence. Let me explain;
When an alarm in a home or business is triggered, we go through a procedure dictated by our client. Typically we:
- Call the Premise to verify needed response
- Call the provided keyholder list for further direction
- 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 for any reason you won’t be home for an extended period of time, it’s a good idea to update your keyholder list with names and numbers that are checking in on your home. 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, and seek our next step in responding to that alarm. As long as they can tell us the alpha-numeric password they have been assigned as a keyholder, we can provide them with all pertinent information the alarm has transmitted to us, allowing them to make an informed decision on the appropriate next steps.
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, by general policy, 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 labour intensive, but it does mean making sure your list is as responsive as possible.
Before you head out for winter vacation, or take off to your winter residence, 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.