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How The FARA is Helping Reduce False Alarms For Security Alarm Monitoring Centers

Jan 22, 2020 8:00:00 AM

False alarms are a problem across many different audiences. For consumers, it can cost them fines. The idea of paying a penalty can discourage users from implementing their alarm system, potentially exposing their property to damage. For local response units, false alarms can waste public safety resources and cause complacency.

The common goal for alarm monitoring companies and local authorities is to reduce false alarms. While both sides want to keep false alarms to a minimum, neither party should be solely responsible for figuring out the perfect fix-all. Instead, by having both organizations come together, working strategies can be put into action.

So how exactly can these problems be remedied? If you’re a security dealer, there’s tips to prevent false alarms, such as educating consumers and considering video verification, but it shouldn’t end there. Instead, to use the best resources available, many responding agencies and counties are members of the False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA).

What is FARA

FARA is an organization in the United States and Canada that works to find the best practices for security monitoring companies, responding authorities, and consumers. Members are comprised of people who have been employed by government and public safety agencies, experts in the alarm industry, other professionals, and even consumers who own alarm systems.

Members work together through FARA to reduce false alarms, which is when an alarm goes off and a dispatch request is sent to a law enforcement agency, but the responding officer finds no evidence of a crime or attempt of one. The same applies for fire alarms, when the local FD arrives and finds negligence or intentional misuse of the fire alarm system that was not caused by heat, smoke, or fire.

An Example of FARA in Action

Harris County, Texas has a population of 4.7 million people, making it the third most populated county in the U.S. Responders near the greater Houston metro area and the alarm industry work together to provide top service. Regular meetings are held for the Houston Gulf Coast Alarm Association, where members gather to provide information and receive feedback concerning permits and efforts to reduce false alarms.

FARA is also partnered with the Maryland Burglar & Fire Alarm Association. This has resulted in real changes for false alarm reduction beyond just increasing fines, affecting ordinances and changes in state law that protect privacy of alarm user information, as well as streamline data.

How To Create a Partnership

To create a positive partnership between the alarm monitoring industry and local responders, FARA can be a great resource to get the two agencies in contact with each other, which helps enable strategy planning and can even get other local authorities from other counties involved. There’s many community-wide benefits when it comes to combining efforts to lower false alarms, but the time to start this process shouldn’t be after a crisis has already happened, but rather before action needs to be taken.

If you are a leader in the alarm industry within your state, consider reaching out to your local responding agencies, or join FARA, to work towards an outreach effort.

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