Reducing false alarm rates in Alarm Receiving Centers
With the fast development of IoT across homes and businesses, security is one focus of attention for the new technology. Home and business owners can now see what’s going on in their property remotely through their mobile phone. But do they really have time for that? And what happens if they are not equipped to deal with what they see? That’s where an Alarm Receiving Center comes in. The ARC market is growing, with professionally monitored alarm systems in Europe forecasted to grow from 16.5 million in 2019 to 20.0 million in 2024. But these operations can only succeed by reducing false alarm rates.
Taking away the headache
Small businesses are starting to recognize the value of using ARCs to allow them to completely remove the headache of security. They can sign up to a subscription with an ARC company and let them ‘take the security strain’. In some cases, this could also mean a reduction in insurance premiums. They can still feel in control though, as they can also receive any alerts through a mobile app.
Home owners are traditionally more cautious, being concerned about privacy, but even they are starting to embrace the benefits of using an ARC – for example when they go on holiday. Countries across Western Europe are particularly advanced in the use of ARCs, and the Nordic region leads the way.
Reducing false alarm rates from 95% to minimal
The key to successful ARC operations is reducing false alarm rates. According to IHS Markit, an estimated 90-95% of alarms reported to the central monitoring stations turn out to be false.1 These false alarms are a very real problem for ARCs. They can be costly to check out and could mean guards being sent on time-consuming ‘wild goose chases’. Since labor costs in the industry are quite high, this also has an effect on the bottom line of an ARC.
False alarms are also frustrating to others. For example, police forces in France will no longer attend an incident unless the alarm has been verified, in order to better manage their resources. Some also ‘blacklist’ ARCs that have high false alarm rates, for the same reasons.
This is where the really smart technology comes in. Video verification of an alarm means that an ARC operator can check the situation at the location directly through camera footage. Systems like Hikvision AX PRO seamlessly connect the alarm zone to an accompanying camera. These systems often use PIR cameras, which merge the sensor and camera technology together. This combination means the images are sent more directly to the ARC, and thus more quickly.
The AX PRO system also uses other smart functions to further reduce the false alarm rate. For example, a ‘Double knock’ function only sends an alert if it’s triggered twice in a set period of time. Another function is ‘Cross zone’ – where two zones can be linked together and an alert is only sent if both are triggered simultaneously.
It’s not just visible lenses that come into effect here. The system can also use Passive Infrared Sensors to detect body temperature differences, and Microwave Sensors to detect speed of movement and direction.
The system is also equipped with leading Hikvision signature technologies. AcuSense filters out traditional ‘false alarm triggers’, like animals, leaves and even rain. ColorVu comes into effect to make the images sent to the ARC high quality, with full color, even in dark scenarios. This means that operators can rely on them for accurate verification.
It can also be further enhanced if used in combination with Hik-ProConnect, a software that can be loaded onto a mobile device to monitor a converged system, using devices like AX PRO. This makes adding devices into the system and configuring them quick and easy. It also allows ARC operators to arm/disarm devices and carry out proactive system health monitoring – all remotely. End users keep control – they too can use an app to monitor their system, and need to give permission for others to access.
Using these technologies, ARCs can maximize their effectiveness. They can see exactly what’s going on at the location when an alarm is triggered, thanks to the fact that the alarm sensors and the CCTV cameras are converged – in other words they work together.
The system can also send images to a mobile app, when triggered. This gives home and business owners full knowledge of what’s going on. They could, of course, self-monitor, but many choose to work with an ARC, so they get peace of mind that the situation is being dealt with. The app also means that the ARC can be in contact with the owner, knowing they can see the same images. This could be another way to reduce false alarms – the image could show a person trusted by the owner, for example.
The AX PRO technology is smart enough to be converged seamlessly into other systems too. It has ‘plug and play’ capability, and works beautifully in integration with third party suppliers like: Sentinel, Azursoft, Patriot System, Insocom, immix and SBN. This makes it really useful for installers who would like to upgrade existing systems with new functionalities. AX PRO can use signals from existing alarm sensors, making an upgrade easier and cheaper.
Expectations are changing as IoT becomes ingrained in our daily lives. In order for security through monitoring centers to be truly effective, reducing false alarms is critical. Using smart, converged technologies like Hikvision’s AX PRO, ARCs can dramatically reduce false alarms, making their lives more efficient. In turn, this also means ARCs can meet customer expectations, and truly give them peace of mind.
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