Verified Alarm Response – What You Need to Know

This past September 2018, the Toronto police announced that they will no longer respond to home security alarms unless evidence of criminal activity is provided. The new requirement – called “Verified Alarm Response” – is the result of an internal police review that found 97 percent of home security system activations in 2016 were false alarms. The policy change aims to cut down on the number of false calls and make emergency responses “more efficient”, said the police.

Police will now only respond to an alarm if it is verified through:

  • An audio device

  • A video device

  • Multiple zone activations

  • An eyewitness on the scene

Home security providers are currently reaching out to customers in regards to how Verified Alarm Response requirements will affect monitoring moving forward. ADT, Rogers Home Monitoring, Vivint, and more are attempting to communicate that their services are still valuable. But are they? We take a look.

The policy change raises valid concerns over the effectiveness of “active monitoring” by large home security providers. In emergency situations, time is the most important factor in getting help when it’s needed most. “I think it would be hard to prove in a timely manner,” said Ric Amis, secretary of the Parkdale Residents Association, to the Toronto Star on the extra step dispatch operators must take before contacting police.

The new security company response will be:

  1. A dispatch operator is notified of an incoming alarm.

  2. The operator is required to manually call through your provided list of emergency contacts to verify if the alarm is real.

  3. If no emergency contacts answer or are close by to verify the alarm, the dispatcher must investigate for proof of multiple alarm triggers on the property or audio, or video accounts of an incident.

  4. Only if there is no answer from any of the contacts call and validation of the alarm can the operator then call the police and/or fire department.

Why pay for monitoring that requires validation? Your monthly fees aren’t going towards “active monitoring” – you’re paying for a stranger in a call center miles away to go through this lengthy process.

Safe by HUB6 is like Neighbourhood Watch 2.0. All alarm alerts are redirected from your existing system to your phone, so that you and your neighbours can keep an eye on each other’s homes and alert the police or fire department if there’s an issue. In the case of an emergency, calling 9-1-1 directly does not require the same regulations that home security companies must follow. Emergency services can arrive on the scene faster, keeping you and your community protected – without the expensive middleman.

The ability to have multiple eyes, in a “Neighbourhood Watch” type of scenario, watching your property ensures full coverage without the cost of a typical alarm company contract. The system allows you to be away - out of touch - and still know that you are covered.
— David F., Safe by HUB6 Customer

Switching to Safe by HUB6 helps homeowners save in two major ways:

  1. No more false alarm charges

    When an alarm is triggered, you’ll clearly see the zones and devices that have been set off and be able to investigate further. Not home? You can easily add a trusted neighbour to receive the same alerts and they can clear false alarms on your behalf. No more long-term contracts or monthly fees

  2. No more long-term contracts or monthly fees

    Safe by HUB6 cuts unnecessary, expensive monthly fees from security providers that over-promise and under-deliver. Homeowners save $600 each year on average and get faster, more efficient responses in the case of emergency.

Not from Toronto? Police services across North America are adopting Verified Alarm Response regulations in a concentrated effort to reduce false alarms. The new requirements are prompting homeowners to make the switch to modern and effective monitoring options like Safe by HUB6.

Safe by HUB6 leverages your existing home security infrastructure and the community networks you already know and trust to cut unnecessary monitoring fees. We provide the true peace of mind that comes with knowing your family is always protected.

Get ahead of the new Verified Alarm Response policy change and build a safer, smarter community with Safe by HUB6.

–The HUB6 Team

The HUB6 Team