A brief overview of response times to alarms by home security companies and why they are important
Imagine dialing 911 for an emergency and being put on hold. In essence, that’s what happens when a home security company has a slow response time when an alarm is tripped. The best home security company will provide you with reliable security at an affordable price and will have a relatively short alarm response time. Home security company alarm response times should be one of the top priorities you take into consideration when searching for the best home security system.
Home security alarm systems
In comparing security system alarm response times, it is important to understand that that a response time simply refers to the length of time it takes the company to process an alarm event. It does not refer to the length of time it takes for law enforcement to respond. The faster a response time, the sooner authorities can be dispatched to your home. The Electronic Security Association and many consumer rating agencies consider response time of greater than one minute to be poor, in part because the time it takes for law enforcement or a private security company to respond to an event can vary widely. In some large metropolitan areas, it can take law enforcement as much as half an hour to send a response team. (Part of this is due to the large number of home security system false alarms that are triggered nationally each year.)
When an alarm is triggered in your home, the security company that monitors your system will respond to the alarm. This can be handled in one of two ways depending upon exactly how the company handles monitoring. If the company has its own security response staff, someone will usually attempt to contact you directly. This is often done through a two-way communication panel that is part of your home security system.
If the company provides monitoring from a third-party station, it will usually only alert local law alarm response times are critical enforcement.
When evaluating home security companies and systems, press representatives for information about response times. If you don’t get a response that gives you confidence, check with the Better Business Bureau or ask you homeowner’s insurance representative about a prospective company’s response time. You can also contact your local police department and find out which companies they routinely work with and what the response times are.
Some other things to consider regarding response times for home security companies:
- Is their monitoring equipment UL rated?
- Do they have their own monitoring service, or do they contract it out?
- Is the monitoring service they offer through a centralized monitoring center?
Comparing alarm company response times and home security prices can greatly assist you in making a well-informed decision about a home security system and its provider. QualitySmith can help by putting you in direct contact with local home security professionals.