Now That's Progress!

Aug. 11, 2009

Great news in the security industry is that despite the larger and growing base of installed alarms, dispatch rates have been reduced by as much as 70 percent.That’s important for the systems installers and integrators who want the public to know that alarms are reliable and effective security and life safety devices.

Stan Martin is one of the industry’s great crusaders on the virtues of alarm systems. He has a take-charge attitude and does whatever is necessary to curb false alarms. Martin is the executive director of the Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), based in Frisco, Texas. (SIAC has one of the coolest web sites out there, with lots of good info. Check it out at )

Martin spoke with me frankly about the subject of false alarms and dispatch rates and relationships with public safety and law enforcement as I put together the story of the same topic which appears in the July issue of Security Dealer & Integrator magazine.

“SIAC studied causes of false alarms, determined solutions and recommended programming changes to the panels and then spent several years trying to get voluntary dealer compliance," Martin explained. "The companies that were paying attention, proactive and professional either were doing the right things or made the recommended changes to improve. However, the vast majority of dealers either didn’t get it or didn’t seem to care.”

And because of this, the industry was forced to do what it had to do to get the job done—have the panels pre-programmed from the factory with certain exit/entry delays and other features to prevent false or inadvertent alarms. Behind it all--the groundbreaking ANSI/SIA-CP-01 Control Panel Standard – Features for False Alarm Reduction, now undergoing its next revision, which will include additional pre-programmed features and functions to thwart false dispatches. The majority of the industry’s control panel and alarm receiver manufacturers participated in the creation of the standard and it made a difference! Read more about it in the July issue of SD&I magazine, page 82. -- Deborah L. O'Mara, editor, SD&I magazine