There are thousands of monitoring companies out there. Are they all the same? What if I go with the wrong company? How do I even know the difference? With so many options available, these are all great questions to ask. This guide will help you understand what separates good home security companies from great ones.
What is Home Security Monitoring and Why is it Important?
The monitoring connects your home security system to the authorities in the event of an emergency. In your time of need, you’ll be communicating directly with the monitoring company. Therefore, it’s important that you choose the best company for you and your family. Some companies monitor the system themselves, and others utilize a central monitoring station. Depending on the company who protects your home, there are a few things you’ll want to find out. Who is actually going to be doing the monitoring? How do they communicate with you? What’s their response time? Are they properly certified?
How Do Monitoring Companies Communicate with You?
There are a few different ways that monitoring companies communicate with you. First, let’s talk about how authorities prioritize alarms. As you can imagine, police departments have received quite a few false alarms from security systems over the years. Now, with modern technology, these false alarms are no longer an issue. However, most police departments still require some sort of verification of a real emergency in order to prioritize the alarm call. That’s why most home security companies will call you on either your home phone or your cell phone, to verify the emergency.
So, what happens if you don’t answer the phone? Or, what if you’re not home? Unfortunately, with that form of communication, there is no way of prioritizing the alarm call in those situations. So there’s no guarantee the authorities will be there immediately. That’s why top rated home security companies like Alliance Security use Two-Way Voice technology. With Two-Way Voice, a trained representative from your central monitoring station speaks to you live through your control panel during an emergency. If you’re not home, they can listen for breaking glass or voices, and provide that as verification to the police department.
How Important is Response Time?
Next, let’s talk about response time. Response time is the amount of time it takes after your alarm goes off for the authorities to be dispatched. For example, the average response time for home security companies is around 58 seconds. In an emergency, every second counts. Alliance Security’s central monitoring station ranks among the fastest response times in the industry at just 22 seconds! The longer the response time, the longer it will take authorities to get to your emergency. With that in mind, you’ll want your home security company to have the fastest response time possible.
Is All Professional Monitoring the Same?
All professional monitoring companies need to at least be what’s called UL certified. This means that the company will maintain, test, and monitor the system with the most up-to-date rules and regulations. There are, however, different levels to professional monitoring. The Monitoring Association (TMA), previously known as the Central Station Alarm Association or CSAA, is an internationally-recognized non-profit organization that regulates and represents professional monitoring companies. TMA sets the standard for professional monitoring. TMA has two unique certifications that are only granted to the best home security companies, both of which Alliance Security’s central monitoring station hold:
TMA Five Diamond Certification
The TMA Five Diamond Certification is the highest home security certification available, and is granted to less than 1% of monitoring companies. Only those who satisfy all of the requirements of the five points of excellence can be deemed Five Diamond Certified:
- Commitment to random inspections and quality criteria standards by a nationally recognized testing laboratory such as FM Approvals, Intertek/ETL and UL.
- Commitment to the highest levels of customer service.
- Commitment to ongoing job-related education and testing by having 100% of its central station operators certified using the TMA online training series.
- Commitment to raising the industry standards through TMA membership and participation in its activities.
- Commitment to reducing false dispatches.
Automated Secure Alarm Protocol (ASAP)
With ASAP, the alarm central station communicates directly with the authorities instead of going through a 911 operator. ASAP leads to a faster response time, fires more quickly extinguished, and more lives saved.
Monitoring companies are not all the same! The monitoring is one of the most important parts of your system. It’s what separates good home security companies from great ones! So, when you’re ready to take the next step and protect your home, do your research.
Make sure you partner with a company who utilizes the most up-to-date technology like Two-Way Voice. Be sure they have the fastest response time. And, most importantly, make sure they have all the proper certifications!
It could save your home, and even your life.