The excessive frequency of dispatched false alarms is one of the biggest challenges to the electronic security and life safety sector. This threat could lead to a number of issues, such as jurisdictions pushing for “non-response” or “certified response,” which would significantly change the value and operations of numerous security firms across the country.
On August 24, 2022, the Board of Directors of the Electronic Security Association (ESA) overwhelmingly approved a resolution in support of initiatives to lessen false alarms through improved notification techniques.
“People tend not to answer their phone if the number is unknown and are more likely to respond to text or chat,” he continued. “By using group chat for verification, we’re able to connect quickly with the customer and verify the alarm signal and in many cases, we can cancel the dispatch. By leveraging more effective communication methods, our monitoring center partners are more efficient, our public safety community will be responding to far fewer false dispatches and, ultimately, our subscribers are happier — which leads to lower attrition.”
The ability to directly message customers when verifying alarm signals is a significant enhancement that the ESA Board supports. “At ESA, we have a long history of working with our members, other associations and our public safety community to reduce false alarms,” said ESA Chairman and President of LOUD Security Systems John Loud. “Now, monitoring centers are investing in modern technology so that we, as an industry, can partner with them to create a better solution for communicating with our customers and as a result, reduce attrition by meeting our consumers where they are.
“I want to encourage our ESA members and all security integrators to start a dialogue about how this investment from monitoring centers could help them reduce their attrition and enhance their customer experience.” Loud noted.
The goal of the ESA’s resolution is to promote widespread deployment of this ground-breaking alert dispatch reduction technology in order to improve customer connections during a potential disaster.
The ESA Board of Directors unanimously supported this resolution, stated in full below:
WHEREAS the electronic security industry has widely relied on voice communication as the primary method of communication when verifying alarm signals;
WHEREAS email is a broadly used communication method, but it is better suited for non-time sensitive communications; WHEREAS the increase in unwanted robo-calling has resulted in increasing consumer reluctance to answer calls from unknown numbers, which delays or diminishes the effectiveness of multiple verification attempts of alarm signals to customers;
WHEREAS there is a need to expand beyond traditional telephone contact with responding parties and customers to reduce unnecessary alarm dispatches, which will benefit ESA members, customers, and responding public safety agencies; and WHEREAS utilizing these alarm management best practices will likely improve customer satisfaction and reduce attrition;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, The Electronic Security Association (ESA) Board of Directors supports reducing false alarms through more efficient and effective notification methods to our customers and first responder agencies in order to diminish unnecessary fines or other proscriptive measures by responding agencies such as non-response or verified response policies; BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the ESA Board suggests electronic security integrators, dealers and monitoring stations to use communication methods such as short message service (SMS), multimedia messaging service (MMS) when verifying alarm signals; and
— Faster notification and verification through the use of texting or chat — Reduced attrition and increase customer satisfaction
In doing so, we will achieve: BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the ESA Board urges electronic security integrators, dealers and monitoring stations to adopt best practices when implementing communication methods to verify alarm signals.