NextAlarm expands self monitoring options

OJAI, Calif., Aug. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- NextAlarm Monitoring Services, Inc. today announced an expansion of its non-dispatch monitoring service. NextAlarm, a provider of services and technologies related to alarm systems and alarm monitoring, also offers monitoring service directly to customers across the United States and Canada. The non-dispatch service, also called self-monitoring, includes all of NextAlarm's automated features without live operator response to alarms, and comes at a much lower price than traditional monitoring services. With the new features, a customer can easily and freely switch between traditional and non-dispatch monitoring plans. This allows for dispatch service to be used and paid for only when needed, such as when a burglary occurs nearby, or when a homeowner goes on vacation.

NextAlarm CEO Alex Elliot explained the change. "With the economy still down, we're really in a perfect storm for non-dispatch plans. Crime rates are increasing, and simultaneously, people are concerned about their jobs and want to spend less money. When you factor in that many of the people losing their jobs are the police themselves, a low-cost alternative for home security that gives people the tools to keep themselves safe is a good bet. It saves money, it keeps you in control, and it doesn't rely on emergency response services that might not be able to respond in time."

According to an independent survey conducted by the Police Executive Research Forum in January 2010, 44% of police departments believe that the nation is experiencing an increase in crimes directly related to the economic downturn. In addition, many cities and counties are cutting back staffing at police departments. In July, the Chief of Police in Oakland, CA released a list of crimes to which Oakland police would no longer have the resources to respond after 80 officers were laid off. Calls to police from alarm monitoring centers in many jurisdictions are also being treated with a lower priority in the face of false alarms and limited funds for dispatchers.

NextAlarm's non-dispatch service offers a suite of automated, Internet-centric features that provide the ability for a subscriber to monitor their own home and call for help from neighbors, private guard services, or the police. At rates starting from less than $10 per month, subscribers can view the status of their home security system from any Internet-enabled computer or mobile device, receive text and email notifications of alarm events, and even arm and disarm some alarm systems online. Notifications can be sent to several numbers, and message recipients can choose to be connected to a phone number they have previously set up, such as a neighbor or the local police. The service is also compatible with NextView, NextAlarm's security camera product, and with ABN, NextAlarm's long-standing solution for converting telephone-based systems to be monitored over the Internet. With the new flexibility in changing plans, home and business owners can use the low-cost self monitoring service most of the time, and increase their protection level to 24/7 monitoring by live operators for short periods of time as needed.

The NextAlarm non-dispatch plan is available now directly to end users, as well as through a range of value-added resellers.