Alarm Response Procedures

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Security alarm systems have become essential to protect your home and business. An alarm system with quick response will scare away most criminals. In many places local police will still respond to alarms, but according to Security Management a number of cities in North America have adopted non-response policies to unverified alarm activations. Security companies are on the rise and most offer alarm response services. Some will charge you extra for alarm call-outs. Alarm response procedures will vary depending on your business and by which response unit you are using, but the basic procedures can be described.

Control Center

Control center operator on a headset
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The control center will call your home or business or one of your personal numbers in order to rule out a false alarm. Security companies will often require you to give a pass code as an extra security measure. If you are not present, the burglars will not know the correct pass code, and in case of a hold-up you will have the opportunity to give an incorrect pass code to signal an emergency. If the operator receives no answer or an incorrect pass code, he will contact the police or the security response unit.


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As soon as the police or a security unit is notified of an alarm, the operator will provide them with the address, your key number and any necessary information involving the nature of the alarm. If the alarm system needs to be reset or disarmed, the system code will also be disclosed. Some security companies will supply the response unit with an encrypted code to prevent eavesdropping.


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The unit will have constant radio contact with the control center to ensure quick dispatch of back-up if needed. On approach to the site, the unit will notify the control center of its status and report any suspicious vehicles or persons in the area, in which case a stand-by unit will be dispatched to pursue the suspects.

Perimeter Check

Perimeter of house
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When arriving on the site, the unit will perform a comprehensive check for any signs of forced entry. All perimeter doors, gates and windows will be checked for signs of forced entry or tampering. The unit will be ready to act on any suspicious movements.


Close-up of alarm being disarmed
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If there are no signs of forced entry, the unit will access the building, locate the alarm keypad and disarm the system. The control center and any units on stand-by will be notified.

Interior Inspection

Interior of home
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The unit will now investigate all interior areas where the alarm could have been triggered. After completing the interior patrol, the response unit will reset the alarm, exit the building and ensure the access door is properly secured.


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Before leaving the site, the unit will contact the control center to report its findings. Security companies will usually compile a report the next day and send it to you by email, fax or regular mail.