In false alarms, enough is enough

Nov. 2, 2006

A recent news story on,  a news website serving Youngtown, Ohio, and the surrounding valley, is an example of why the burglar alarm industry sometimes can't get any respect. reported about the alarm system at  Lighthouse Ministries in Youngstown -- an alarm system that had just given its 46th false alarm in the month of October -- not 46 for the year, but for the month!

The police put the location on its non-response list. They should have put it on there months ago, since the article reports that October wasn't the first month of their high false rate. But the real problem here is that the monitoring company should have identified this long before it left a bitter taste in the mouth of local police responders. Are you doing checks of what locations are your most frequent signal sources? Wouldn't that be the best indicator of flagrant false alarm violators?

Frankly, when I go to the tradeshows, I hear about tools like video verification and easy-to-program alarm pads, but sometimes a large chunk of the false alarm problems can be located just by doing a simple database query. After all, police will tell you that every town has that one business that is a chronic false alarm source. Are you monitoring that business? What have you really done to address this problem?

[By the way, if you want to read the original story, you can go to the article, but be forewarned, you're going to need to enter basic demographic info before the website will let you read it. Aren't you glad we don't require that?]


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