Insights

How verified alarms save you money

November 30, 2022

Traditional alarms haven’t changed much in the last 20 years. Doors, and sometimes windows, are wired to set off an alert when breached. This alarm, without any context, is sent to the police. The police are then expected to respond, but many no longer do. That’s because over 95% of unverified security alarms in the United States turn out to be false alarms, costing cities millions of dollars per year.

A man in a hoodie carrying a bag of money.

This is where verified alarms come into play. Alarm verification works by reviewing video of alarm events. False alarms are dismissed, preventing hefty fines. Verified events are then sent to law enforcement along with live video footage so the police know exactly what is happening. This leads to a better, faster response.

Here’s what you need to know about video verified alarms.

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Video alarms are a way of getting more value out of your current security cameras. They create a security system similar to, but better in many ways than, a traditional panel alarm system.

Before we get into all the benefits of video alarms, let’s start with some basic definitions from the Solink Glossary.

What are verified alarms?

Verified alarm definition: A verified alarm is defined as when a security operator or the owner of a security system can visually see that an event is unfolding and therefore emergency dispatchers should be notified.

That is, when an alarm system creates an alert, a real human uses the real-time camera feed of the location to confirm or dismiss the alarm.

What are false alarms?

False alarm definition: False alarms, often called nuisance alarms, are the alerting of emergency responders to an event that is not actually an emergency. This can be a fire alarm or intrusion detection system that is being set off by mistake.

False alarms lead to hefty fines for the business and major expenses for local governments. Video verification can minimize or eliminate the chance for false alarms, which is a boon to your business and community.

What is video verification?

Video verification: Video verification is the ability to use security cameras to confirm whether an alarm event is a true emergency or can be dismissed.

It’s important to emphasize that video verification isn’t just about confirming whether or not there is a person on the premises. That’s because many false alarms are caused by humans who are not there to cause mischief.

For example, people experiencing homelessness might test the doors while walking by, staff members may forget their panel code and set off the alarm, or suppliers may trip the alarm when making deliveries. These events can usually be dismissed with video verification as well.

What are video alarms?

Video alarm definition: Video alarms, such as Solink’s Video Alarm Monitoring Service, use security cameras to enhance or replace traditional alarm systems. With video alarms, you can set up dynamic security areas to be alerted to suspicious activity. These areas can be time-dependent and changed easily along with your security needs.

Video alarms utilize your existing security cameras to create an added layer of protection. Advanced artificial intelligence (AI) methods are used to detect and track motion through your premises using cameras.

Then, when motion is detected when or where it shouldn’t be, notifications are sent to you and/or dedicated professionals to verify whether there is a true event.

By automatically detecting potential threats, video alarms can replace or enhance modern alarm systems or live security guard monitoring.

Solink offers two levels of video alarms service. With Solink Video Alarms Service, alerts are sent directly to the owner of the security system. The owner can then dismiss the alarm or request emergency response. Here’s a sample Solink Video Alarm message:

solink video alarms text message on phone

With Solink Video Alarms Monitoring Service, motion events are sent to a monitoring and dispatch center where the real-time video feed is viewed to determine whether there is a true event.

Solink Video Alarms were recently compared to a standard alarm panel. Overall, Solink Video Alarms reduced false alarm fines by $125 to $600 per location per month.

This was accomplished without sacrificing safety. In fact, during the 45-day trial, the police were dispatched thanks to verified alarms three times, resulting in four arrests:

  • In April 2021, two arrests were made for attempted burglary.
  • In May 2021, one arrest was made for vandalism.
  • In December 2021, police were dispatched for a suspicious person and vehicle. The person was later identified as a carjacker and was subsequently arrested.

Take a look at the full report to see how Solink Video Alarms Service provides clear ROI over standard alarm competitors.

Want to learn more? Take a virtual tour.

Why do companies need verified alarms?

Video verification has become a necessary component of alarm systems. Here are the two main reasons your company needs a verified alarm system:

  1. False alarms cost money.
  2. The police might not respond to unverified alarms.

False alarms cost money

False alarms have become an epidemic in the United States. It is estimated that 95% of the 38 million alarms across America are false alarms. Not surprisingly, it has become extremely expensive for the police to respond to unverified alarms.

In fact, It’s estimated that responding to false alarms is causing American cities $600 million/year. It’s no wonder that cities are implementing false alarm fines.

Phoenix, for example, charges $96 to $105 per false alarm event. Similarly, Seattle charges $115 per false alarm. These cities are on the low end of the range, with some cities charging more than $500.

The police might not respond to unverified alarms

False alarm fines can be a huge drag on profit margins, but the risk can get even worse. Seattle considers unverified alarms as low priority and cannot guarantee that they will respond in a timely manner—or at all when it is busy.

In fact, some cities no longer respond to any unverified alarms.

Many cities in California have stopped responding to unverified alarms. LA County, for example, stopped responding to unverified alarms in 2003. There have been similar announcements made by cities across the country, and even some states are deprioritizing or eliminating false alarm responses.

security camera illustrations in row

What are the advantages of alarm verification?

Verified alarms confer many benefits on companies.

1. Minimize the impact of false alarm fines

As mentioned above, false alarm fines have become the norm. These can add up to thousands of dollars per location every year. By reducing or eliminating false alarm fines, that’s one less drag on the profitability of your business.

2. Faster response from law enforcement

Verified alarms are given higher priority by emergency dispatchers. This is just one way that video verification leads to a faster response from law enforcement.

Since video alarms are triggered by motion, they can identify threats before a door or window is breached. During the comparison with standard panel alarms, Solink Video Alarms identified a threat, requested police dispatch, and an arrest was made before the standard panel alarm was triggered.

Here’s a real police response timeline from Solink Video Alarms:

remote video monitoring timeline for Solink and Noonlight

3. More appropriate response

Solink allows you to share the real-time video feed from your security cameras with law enforcement. That way the police know exactly what is happening when they arrive on scene and can better react to the event as it unfolds.

4. Cheaper than security guards

Video alarms offer enhanced security. Instead of being triggered blindly by a door opening, video alarms monitor motion across the entire area of your buildings.

With Solink having eyes on their locations, many companies find they no longer need live security guards on their premises. This increases the return on investment (ROI) even further.

Solink Video Alarms is a fully verified security system. Enhanced security, better and faster response, and reduced false alarm fines are only a few of the benefits of a verified alarm system.

To see how video verification can help your business, sign up for a demo today.

Want to learn more? Take a virtual tour.

Tim Ware headshot

Timothy Ware | b2b-saas.io

Timothy Ware is Solink’s Content Manager. He brings over ten years of writing and editing experience to the job. When he isn’t writing about security, loss prevention, and asset protection, he’s enjoying his newest board game. His work has appeared on many B2B SaaS websites including Baremetrics, Security Today, TeamPassword, Cova, and SignTime.