While alarm monitoring for businesses is absolutely essential, the owners of home security alarm systems must decide whether 24 hour a day monitoring is warranted. Many individual factors go into making that decision including the additional cost of monitoring and patrol response, the crime profile of the area in which one lives, the nature and value of ‘things’ in the home and the likely patrol response times during the hours that the home is vacant..
The basic cost of 24/7 security alarm monitoring is a little over a dollar per day with some system response checking phone calls being made periodically. In the event of an alarm condition, the security alarm controller’s built-in communicator will call the alarm monitoring station. An officer on duty will examine the information automatically provided by the alarm system to determine where in the building the alarm occurred and whether it is likely to be a genuine intrusion. Sometimes, for example, a very strong gust of wind might cause a window vibration sensor to activate once or a spider crawling over a motion sensor might cause a single false alarm. Multiple alarms or ‘hits’ are a reasonable sign that unauthorized access has occurred.
What the alarm monitoring station does next depends on written instructions you have provided to them. They might be authorized to just log and otherwise ignore these so-called ‘single hits’ which are probably false alarms or you may want yourself or some other person advised of them by a phone call. In the event of a probable break-in they will try to contact people on your advice list in the priority order you have provided until they make contact and get instructions about a patrol response. If they cannot make contact a patrol unit will be sent as soon as possible and this will automatically incur a charge. It is very important to keep your contact list and instructions up to date. The cost of a patrol unit response is approximately $75.00.
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