Alarm Response Procedures


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.

Close-up of woman setting alarm
Close-up of woman setting alarm (Image: Image Source/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Control Center

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.

Control center operator on a headset
Control center operator on a headset (Image: AndreyPopov/iStock/Getty Images)


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.

Police car driving down street
Police car driving down street (Image: Natalia Bratslavsky/iStock/Getty Images)


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.

Police officer with radio
Police officer with radio (Image: aijohn784/iStock/Getty Images)

Perimeter Check

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.

Perimeter of house
Perimeter of house (Image: piovesempre/iStock/Getty Images)


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.

Close-up of alarm being disarmed
Close-up of alarm being disarmed (Image: GregorBister/iStock/Getty Images)

Interior Inspection

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.

Interior of home
Interior of home (Image: piovesempre/iStock/Getty Images)


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.

Police woman holding up radio
Police woman holding up radio (Image: aijohn784/iStock/Getty Images)

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