Enhanced Call Verification Gains Ground

Criticom International, a leading contract monitoring company, will being making the switch to Enhnced Call Verification (ECV) as a way of driving down nuisance alarm dispatches.

"To help manage alarms more effectively and drive down the number of inadvertent alarms, it is critical that we do our part," said Robert Few, vice president of monitoring operations for Criticom International. "We're confident that this higher level of service is important to our dealer base and in line with the best monitoring practices in the industry."

The ECV process for reducing false alarm dispatches is a fairly simple one, and one endorsed by SIAC and other industry organizations. The enhanced call verification means that alarm monitoring providers put in a simple call to the customer to determine whether the alarm is an accident or the product of real intrusion. If the customer doesn't respond on the first call, the alarm monitoring center places a second call to a different line -- usually to a cell phone in today's world. If a break-in is confirmed, or if the customer cannot be reached on either call, then the monitoring company contacts the local jurisdiction for alarm response.

Stan Martin, the Security Industry Alarm Coalition's executive director, called Criticom's decision a "landmark event" and commended the company for what it called a "bold step to reduce police dispatch calls."

Data from SIAC puts the ECV program in a positive light. A test in Colorado is showing a notable reduction -- or approximately 60 percent -- in false dispatches. SIAC provides more information on the ECV program on its website, www.siacinc.org.