Did you know?
- 94% of all alarm calls to the police are false
- Police officers respond to over 38 million false burglar alarms every year, as reported by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP)
- Each year fire departments receive 2.3 million false alarms
- False alarms amount to nearly $1.5 billion in taxpayer dollars each year
What does this mean for the safety of businesses?
The average fine in the U.S. for a first time false alarm offense is $100, and fines for subsequent false alarms increase exponentially. Businesses pay nearly $900 million in false alarm fines each year. Worse than exorbitant fines, some businesses with a high number of false alarms can find their property totally suspended from any law enforcement or fire response at all.
4 Common False Alarm Triggers
The origin of false alarms can vary, but many can be attributed to the following causes.
- Faulty equipment is cited as the cause of 27% of false alarms.
- Poor installation comes in at 15% of the reason for false alarms.
- Inadequate employee training leads to 32% of false alarms.
- Other culprits include sensitive motion detectors, sensors set off by the wind, leaves, etc., and human error.
Response Teams Are Overwhelmed
Actions are being taken in cities across the country to reduce police and fire responses to false alarms.
For example, in New Orleans, a city that had more than 48,000 false alarms last year, has passed a city ordinance to put in place a fine system that will reset each year. Furthermore, NOPD will cease responding to alarm system activations after the fourth false alarm in a given year. In addition to these penalties, alarm monitoring companies will be required to make two calls to the user to validate the alarm before sending for police dispatch. Monitoring companies will also be subject to fines for not following verification procedures.
Seattle was able to reduce its false alarm dispatches by 57% by instituting a hefty fine schedule and requiring monitoring companies to make at least two calls to verify an alarm. The city of Akron, Ohio, reported that more than 98% of the alarms responded to by police were false. They will now only respond to alarms for break-ins that have been visually or audibly verified.
Many of the recent ordinance changes that favor alarm verification require the following:
- The alarm monitoring company must make two calls to validate the alarm.
- Visible proof of broken window, open door, video camera evidence, etc., must be present.
- A security company's verification of the situation by seeing a fire or illegal action first-hand or by viewing video surveillance cameras.
How to Help Reduce False Alarms
A few tips to help reduce false alarms:
- Be sure all alarm systems use standard and up-to-date equipment.
- Ensure proper installation by reputable companies.
- Install video cameras that can visually verify an alarm.
- Engage an outside security company to monitor the establishment through video surveillance.
6 Benefits to Video Verification
With video verification capabilities, businesses can reap the following benefits:
- Ensure police and/or fire departments are dispatched to a "real" alarm.
- Prevent the assessment of heavy fines for false alarms.
- Prevent being on the "suspended" list for police or fire response.
- First responders typically respond quicker when they know an alarm has been verified. This may help limit the losses incurred by unwanted incidents.
- Use as evidence for a legal case or proof of claim for an insurance report.
- Protect employees, customers and property using the best technology available.
False alarms may often seem like no big deal, but there can be several dire consequences of false alarms. Police officers and firefighters can be diverted from real emergencies that may be occurring at the same time. False alarms can lead to unnecessary loss of man hours and wrongful use of taxpayer dollars. Though indicative of no real crisis, false alarms can result in injury and death to responders. Thirty firefighters have been killed responding to false alarms in one recent year alone. It has been reported that repeated false alarms have led to people not taking quick action. Victims think the sounding alarm is just another false alarm and thus ignore real alarms. This erroneous perception undermines reaction time to begin evacuation and can result in injury and death that could have been prevented. False alarms can be stopped, and video verification with Iverify is the answer.
Many companies say they do video security. But what they actually do is just sell cameras and DVRs.
Iverify provides what you really want: the peace of mind that every customer and employee is working in a safe environment, and that every location is secure. The benefits realized include reduced loss, improved operational efficiency and productivity, decreased liability, and fewer unwanted incidents.
That's the critical difference: real-time full video monitoring, delivering real-time information, makes it possible for you to respond in real-time.
Iverify integrates technology, security experience, professionalism and efficiency to deliver the solution customers really need: greater security, plus greater opportunities for additional profitability, all at lower cost. Iverify is committed to making a difference by delivering innovative life safety and property protection solutions, with the core belief that every interaction matters. Iverify has invested over $25 million in professionals, processes and technology to become the recognized industry leader in interactive remote video and audio solutions. Iverify has proven their proprietary solutions can revolutionize security when properly designed and deployed. Visit Iverify.net today to schedule your free consultation.