Exploding the 98% Myth About Burglar Alarms
FRISCO, Texas, May 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Is it true or just an urban myth that 98% of all burglar alarms reported to the police are false? The claim has been around for decades, but the statistic is misleading because it takes into account only a small portion of the 34 million alarm systems protecting homes, schools, government facilities, churches and businesses.
“Eighty-five percent of the nation’s alarm systems generate no calls to the police in any given year,” said Stan Martin, Executive Director of the Security Industry Alarm Coalition. “People using the 98% figure to justify ending police response to alarms without human verification of a crime (verified response) have failed to perform their due diligence on public safety and industry best practices.
“The 98% figure is properly applied only to the small percentage of problem alarm systems,” said Martin. “Leading experts from the alarm industry and law enforcement have proven that a model alarm ordinance, two call verification before dispatch, fines and alarm registration can dramatically reduce calls for service by up to 90% while maintaining the police response the public expects.
“In addition, fines and registration fees generate millions of dollars in income for cities to fund additional law enforcement personnel and general operations.”
Montgomery County, Maryland is an example of how an effective alarm ordinance generates revenue and reduced false alarms while maintaining police response. “The number of alarm users who have zero false alarms increases every year, and is a testament to a well-written, strictly enforced alarm ordinance and the education efforts of both the FARS (False Alarm Reduction Section) staff and alarm companies doing business in Montgomery County,” said Norma C. Beaubien, False Alarm Reduction Section, Director, Montgomery County Police Department.
SIAC is comprised of four major North American security associations–Canadian Security Association (CANASA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA), and the Electronic Security Association (ESA)–representing one voice for the alarm industry on alarm management issues. SIAC’s primary charter is to significantly reduce calls for service while strengthening the lines of communication with law enforcement professionals and end users. For more information, contact www.SIACinc.org.