Although our Central Station handles all sorts of emergencies and crises, the calls they least like to handle are the ones where an emergency has occurred (or maybe it was just a potential one), we were unable to help, and it was utterly preventable.
What am I talking about, you wonder? It’s calls like these:
“My house (or business) was broken into last night and you never called…”
“My alarm went off about 10 minutes ago. Were you ever going to call me? I could’ve been robbed or murdered waiting for you.”
“This is Officer XYZ, we’re looking for keyholders for this address. They’ve had a break in.”
Sadly, nearly all of these calls occur because we never received an alarm signal, and therefore couldn’t respond. And our customers are both upset and don’t understand how or why that might happen. In fact, there are times where our customers believe we’re being dishonest because they don’t understand the alarm process.
We understand that to explain exactly how alarms send signals, etc. may be more complicated than what most of our customers can fully understand, but that doesn’t mean that these situations aren’t entirely preventable before they hit crisis mode.
Here are a few things you can do to protect them and minimize your liability:
- Self Timer Tests – Scheduling these at least once a week for residences and once a day or every other day for businesses with Fail to Test responses via call or email when the tests don’t come through.
- Open/Close/Cancel – This can be an email that is sent to the customer so that they know when their alarms are armed and disarmed (and by whom). You can also request a Failure to Open or Close response (most common for businesses) to be made to alert the business owners that their alarms were never armed or never disarmed.
- System Inactivity – This is usually a call or an email to you, the dealer, advising that our customer has not armed or disarmed their alarm for a specified amount of time (often 72 hours to 1 week).
Any of these types of signals would cause either us in Central Station, or you, or your customers to be made aware or to notice if signals stopped coming in. Often this would help us to be made aware of any number of changes to the customers’ accounts, including telecom/phone changes or disengaging the alarm.
We can not call on alarm signals that we don’t know about or don’t receive. Help us help you find a way to be made aware when these situations arise so that we can all proactively respond to repair whatever may be malfunctioning rather than waiting for an actual alarm.