Monitoring—what does it mean and why does it matter?

SELF-MONITORING:  Many people are attracted to the idea of self-monitoring because we are so used to getting notifications and alerts through our mobile devices. What could be simpler and cheaper than just receiving a notification and taking action on it yourself? The problem with that is; no wait, there are several problems we’ve identified through consumer feedback and reviews in the media. First, as you make changes to your internet service, router, email and cell phones, connectivity can be lost without you realizing it.  With central station monitoring, a regular connectivity test can be set up so that missed tests will show on your keypad right away. The next problem is that of missed notifications.  In our business and social lives, we’ve all experienced situations where ‘we know’ we sent a message, but the receiver denies and visa versa. With self-monitoring, you can come back to your home/business to find obvious evidence that the alarm was tripped, but no evidence of any notifications received.  What happened?  What does this mean?  Wherein does the problem lie?
With central station monitoring, we have a record of devices tripped, times and details, calling sequence, recordings of conversations, confirmation of police response and badge ID for responding officers.  The evidence and information is all there, helping everyone to proceed with next steps.  You can call the station to get his information, or ask our business office for assistance in problem-solving.  Is it a training issue, a service issue, storm-related, power problem etc.  Part of your monthly fees gives you phone support to get things put right.  With self monitoring, consumers are prone to give up trying to find out what happened, reducing the value of the monthly fee they are paying to be self-monitored.  Alarmtech is very reluctant to offer self-monitoring services, simply because the best customer service can’t do anything when the signal path is only set up between the equipment and the owner, and we have no way of retrieving or interpreting it.
The story of Joel Matlin, owner of Alarm Force (not Alarmtech)

PROFESSIONAL MONITORING or Central Station Monitoring—this is where the signal path is routed through the 24 hour central station.  Signals come in from each device, partition and are sorted by type.  IE low battery, burglary, fire, trouble, panic or supervisory.  The type of signal and the wishes of the alarm owner dictate the response.  The monitoring station needs to follow the local police protocols.  In London, we have one of the strictest policies in Canada, and if the station doesn’t follow the—response will be denied for that event.  No second chances-we find that some of our competitors who offer discount monitoring are using stations who do not follow London\’s False Alarm Reduction Policy rules.  Therefore, you might be paying less but receiving nothing.  When a certain well known large alarm company called the home of Alarmtech president Bob Hoevenaars, he asked them about the dispatch procedure they would follow and it was WRONG!  We wouldn’t be getting any police response if Always Done Twice was our security provider.
People often ask about the Police response being slow etc.  It is our opinion that the list of names and numbers our clients provide to us are more important than the call we make to the police.  You and your chosen list know best if there are renovations or guests onsite that might cause false alarms, or if there is a wedding or funeral in your family that could increase vulnerability.  The personal response from your call list is what gives the station the best information about whether a police dispatch is required or not.  And the people who have agreed to assist you as Key holders are the ones to arrange for repairs to broken doors or windows.  The police can only do so much.
NO MONITORING:  If we had a nickel for every time someone told us they have “good neighbours” we’d have lunch catered every day!  Are you a good neighbour?  And how much time today have you spent just looking out your window at the street?  Or walking up and down the street carefully observing your neighbours homes?  ’nuff said.
For further information about Alarmtech’s products and services, please contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation at 519-434-3996 | 800-461-5800 | or fill out our online form request sales consultation.

Written by Nancy Hoevenaars, Functional Manager/HR/Marketing