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Many of us have alarms installed in our homes and businesses. These are meant to be early warning systems and are hooked up to armed response companies that we expect to look after ourselves and our possessions. Do you know what to do if your alarm is activated? What do you expect from your alarm company?

The following was provided by Alan K from City Bowl Armed Reponse:

Here follows the procedure following a burglary (alarm) activation from a client’s alarm.

The control centre operator will receive and acknowledge the signal. Once the signal appears on our computer screens after being received via our base stations and any special instructions pertaining to that client will pop up.

The controller that handles that signal will call the landline number from whence the signal was generated; alternatively the first cell phone number given on the contact list.

Special instructions are then followed.

Importantly: If the client confirms that the activation was accidental and a correct password is given, a response vehicle will NOT be dispatched.

If an incorrect password is given, a response vehicle will be dispatched to investigate and the response officer will be advised that someone on the premises has given an incorrect password.

No reply from the premises, dispatch an armed response vehicle.

Our vehicles are dispatched via our live tracker system and booked down when they switch off the vehicle outside the premises.

After an investigation of the premises the response officer will give the necessary feedback to the control room operator.

If a full check of the premises can’t be conducted due to the limited access or vicious dogs etc. or if the response officer finds any irregularities, the client and key holder must be contacted to attend the premises.

A numbered slip should be left by the attending response officer explaining all actions taken. This slip number is recorded on our system via the control room operator.

If the alarm re-activates, the response officer is re-dispatched. The key holder/s must be contacted and procedure followed again, again asking for the cancellation code (password).

This password is only ever discussed between the control room operator and the client. There is never an instance where a client has to give a password to the attending armed response officer. All communications are done via the control room and are recorded for future reference should it be required, for whatsoever reason.

For panic activations, the same procedures are followed, except that a vehicle is dispatched to the premises before the actual call is made, in order to reduce the response times. Alarms do activate falsely for a number of reasons, but a panic button has to have been pushed, even if by user error.

On receipt of a correct password, the vehicle en-route will be cancelled and diverted to the next outstanding signal. A panic signal is accorded the highest priority signal, followed by a burglary.

If the alarm/ panic is activated in error, do not call the control room as the signal will be automatically dialling through the phone line (and radio transmitter) if a landline is connected to the alarm. The controller will get an engaged signal if the premises landline is being used.

This is the reason; a password should be kept secret and only given to trusted and responsible key holders. It should also be changed from time to time. Updated key holder information should also be supplied to your security service provider. Any change of information should be done, in writing and not given telephonically!