Why 24 Hour Home Monitoring is Important

A common saying in the residential security system industry goes something like this: “an alarm system is only as good as its monitoring center.”

When it boils down to it, 24/7 home alarm monitoring is the single most essential service of a home security system. One could have the greatest, most advanced home alarm system in the world, with all the latest bells-and-whistles… but it would ultimately prove to be useless if no one is there to launch a response in the most critical times of need. This post will illustrate the need for 24/7/365 home alarm monitoring as well as discuss the function of central monitoring systems and how these features work together to secure and protect one’s residential property.

What is a Central Monitoring Station?

Every reputable home security system company includes monitoring done by a central monitoring station, but what function does the station actually serve?

The central monitoring station, operating 24/7/365, receives home alarm alerts and relays the message to the local authorities. Central monitoring stations will quickly and efficiently process burglary, fire and environmental signals and dispatch the proper authorities when necessary. Added features like opening/closing reports and text alerts are typically also available.

When reviewing home alarm monitoring systems, the first thing that homeowners should do is make sure that the prospective security company is properly certified and credentialed. Make sure the alarm company’s monitoring center can cite a certificate from Underwriters Laboratory (UL). This means the center, which is audited regularly, offers a higher level of service and reliability because they are mandated to follow certain regulations, and their computers and software must meet stringent requirements for processing and storing very large amounts of data and integration with many different alarm protocols.

Another credential to look for is a “Five Diamond” certification, as designated by the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA). The “Five Diamond” certification is an illustrious, annually renewed designation and it highlights a home security company’s commitment to high quality service. Among the qualities needed to earn the designation is a commitment to reducing false dispatches, which is a substantial plus for the customer. This certification testifies that 100% of their central station operators have achieved proficiency and certification by passing the CSAA Central Station On-Line Operator Training Course.

Another important accreditation for central monitoring stations comes from Factory Mutual (FM), which offers worldwide industrial and commercial product certification and testing services through FM Approvals®. Recognized and respected across the globe, FM Approvals certification assures customers a product or service that has been objectively tested and conforms to the highest national and international standards.

The Importance of a Home Alarm Central Monitoring System

An optimal home alarm monitoring system is the key to proper home security. The system is responsible for alerting the central monitoring station and securing a property. A customer would want to be confident that a home alarm monitoring system will be able to communicate with the central monitoring station 24 hours a day, in case of any emergencies.

The statistics are heavily in favor of using a monitored home alarm system. Homes with a monitored security system are 2.2 times less likely to be burglarized and 85% of police chiefs recommend the installation of monitored security systems.

Home alarm systems also detect environmental factors. The sensors can detect toxic gas that one cannot otherwise see, smell or taste. If a home reaches a dangerous level of carbon monoxide exposure, the sensor will go off and alert your family to the impending danger. Monitored detectors add another level of protection for your family, alerting authorities to the situation [or something like that] {also, see below]

Finally, to illustrate how a home alarm monitoring system and a central monitoring station work together, here is a brief explanation:

A burglary, fire or phone line failure alerts the central monitoring station, informing the station of the issue. The station then calls the customer to verify that the alert is not an unintended alarm. The customer is asked for the correct password and cancellation is given if the alarm is a false alert. If an incorrect password, a failure to communicate, or a request for assistance is given by the customer, the authorities are alerted.

flowchart

Burglars don’t take any time off and neither should a home alarm monitoring system. It’s hard to quantify the true value of a 24/7/365 home alarm monitoring system because of the peace of mind that comes along with the system. On top of that, a study conducted by the Rutgers University School of Criminal Justice found premium discounts of up to 20 percent if a home is equipped with a home alarm monitoring system. The positives of equipping a home with a 24/7/365 home alarm monitoring system vastly outweigh the negatives of doing so. With the potential insurance discount and guaranteed 24/7 protection, it only makes sense to secure a home with a 24/7/365 home alarm monitoring system.

Take from this whatever you need:

Standard Response Procedure for Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Unless otherwise required by the emergency response agency, upon receipt at our Alarm Monitoring Center (AMC) of a CO alarm signal, with or without restoral signal, the AMC shall first call the premises and then proceed as shown below.

If someone answers the telephone:

1. The occupants shall be instructed to leave the premises and move to fresh air.
2. The AMC shall ask the following questions of the individual answering the telephone:
a) Are all the occupants accounted for and are they out of the premises?
b) Is anyone nauseous, ill, have a headache or dizzy?
3. The AMC shall instruct the occupants not to re-enter the premises until cleared by the responding fire service.
4. The AMC shall then immediately call the appropriate emergency response agency to inform them of the alarm. The emergency response agency shall be informed that the occupants answered the telephone, were told to leave the premises and of any
reported symptoms.

If no one answers the telephone:

1. The AMC shall then immediately call the appropriate emergency response agency and report that a CO alarm was received from a particular premises and were unable to
reach an occupant.
a) In the case of no answer, after dispatch, the AMC shall contact the responsible party(s) on the customer’s call list.
If an answering machine or voicemail is encountered:
1. The AMC shall leave a message including the date, time and alarm event and instruct that all occupants evacuate the building.
2. The AMC shall then immediately call the appropriate emergency response agency and report that a CO alarm was received from a particular premises and were unable to reach an occupant.

Premises Access

1. All buildings with a CO system or detector monitored at our AMC shall be equipped with a means of providing emergency access to all areas of the premises, as required by the Authority Having Jurisdiction (like a Key Box).
2. If a means of providing emergency access is not present, be advised that property damage may occur.