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Home Alarm Systems Are They Still Worth it?

in 1968 when I started in police work, all alarms, including homes, came directly into the police department. Dispatchers were required to silence the alarm in the dispatch center, look up responsible owners, call those owners, and dispatch police units to the calls. Police officers dispatched, would wait for an owner and search the home before leaving the scene.

Over time this was no longer an effective use of dispatcher time and alarms were  not allowed to go directly to the police department.  Instead if customers wanted the police to be notified when their alarm was triggered, they were required to go through private security company monitors, who then called the police department. Police officers responding would still wait for an owner, or responsible person to arrive before they left the scene.

Those home owners that chose un-monitored alarms would rely on the noise scaring away burglars when alarms went off. The alarm would then reset after a set amount of time.  Those rang again if the sensor causing the trigger was still activated, causing fed up neighbors to call the police when they got tired ringing or siren.

As populations grew and there were more alarms out there, the number of false alarms increased. Police Agencies began to charge false alarm fees, which caused private security monitors to call the residence for confirmation. If there was no answer, or a person answered the phone without the correct code, the police department would be called. Responding officers checked for evidence of break-in or checked the identity of persons present before leaving to other calls.

Today, because of budget cuts, many police departments will not respond to burglar alarms, unless there is some type of confirmation that the call for service  is not a false alarm.

Alarm Monitor companies still call the alarm residence or the cell phone of the person responsible for the property.  If there is an answer and the person answering the phone does not have the alarm code, the police will be called. If there is no answer, the companies will still call the police to show they did their job. Will the police respond? It will depend on the call information and the policy of the police department,

Some companies can monitor sound in the residence if an alarm is tripped. They can tell there is a problem, by listening in, and they can forward updated information to the police while they are responding. These companies will continue to monitor sound until the property is secured by the police department.

The problem I see happening, is that even if the police respond, the time between the alarm sounding and the police being notified is growing. It can take minutes to confirm an alarm, causing a long delay for police response.

 As an example: I arrived one time to a burglary call within 30 seconds of being dispatched. I soon realized the call took a while to be forwarded to me.  The front door of the property had been smashed in, a number of video recorders and televisions had been taken, and the crooks were nowhere to be seen. 

So is it still worth having an alarm system installed in your home?

I believe that they are worth the cost and you don’t necessarily need to pay a monthly fee for it. There are inexpensive systems out there now, like the HomeSafe® Wireless Home Security System that include phone dialers.Home Safe Alarm System And with use of cell phones, it just may be the way to go, because your alarm system can now call you.


 When the door/window sensor or motion detector is triggered, the system sounds an alarm and sends a signal to the base unit.  The base unit dials the first telephone number of your programmed list.  The person answering the call will hear a prerecorded alert message and they will have the option to listen in on the room, broadcast their voice through the base unit, or disarm the system.  If there is no answer, or if the person doesn’t disarm the system, it will dial the next number on your programmed list.

Most police departments still don’t allow phone dialer calls to go directly to them,  but the neat thing about this is that you can have the system call your cell phone, a trusted neighbor, or up to 5 total phone numbers.

In the case of a neighbor; they could listen in or even look out their window at your home.  They might even be able to get a license plate number for the police. That information would alert the officer to look for the suspect vehicle as he/she responds.Home Safe Remote With Panic Button

In the case of system calling your cell phone; in addition to illegal entry protection, you could have a live in mother, or teenager living at home and alone if your not there. The included panic button remote control has the ability to be attached to a keyring or lanyard necklace.  If family at home needs help from a fall or other emergency, the panic button can be pressed to sound the alarm and start the phone dialer. When activated you could be the first number dialed. You could listen in and even broadcast your voice into the room where the keypad is located. If needed you could call for emergency assistance and have them en-route as fast as possible.

You can have greater piece of mind knowing that your family and propertry is protected!

Be safe and secure out there, because there are people waiting to rip you off, or even attack you. We at dedicate this site to helping you protect yourself, your family and property from these people.

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