Sounding the alarm: the ins and outs of alarm signal monitoring

Sounding the alarm: the ins and outs of alarm signal monitoring

alarm monitoring illustration

Here at EPS Security, we often tout our award-winning, 24/7 Monitoring Center as a key reason to consider us as your home or business security provider. We’re so proud of our monitoring capabilities that we sometimes overlook the fact that many people looking into security solutions for the first time don’t fully understand what “monitoring” even means. Whether you’re looking at security systems for the first time or looking into new options for your current solution, monitoring is a critical component when considering how to best provide comprehensive protection to what matters most to you.

What is alarm monitoring?

Your security system is equipped with the technology to communicate between your alarm control panel and a designated monitoring center. When an alarm is set off, a signal is sent to the monitoring center. Operators follow a specific protocol to contact you and emergency responders to take immediate action. Alarm monitoring means there is always an eye on your security system, prepared to act in the event of an emergency.

alarm monitoring illustrationWhat types of alarm monitoring are available?

While monitoring centers serve the same central function—watching over and dispatching on your alarm—there are different tiers of monitoring available, each with a varying level of coverage and benefits.

Self-monitoring: These types of security systems are often referred to as “do-it-yourself” (DIY) systems, meaning you install and monitor the system yourself. If a fire alarm goes off, it is on the customer to respond by calling the proper emergency responders, regardless of where you are, what you’re doing, and if you’re available to respond effectively. The biggest downfall of self-monitoring is the reaction time necessary to respond to an alarm event can vary wildly from person to person. In a worst-case scenario, an emergency within your house can occur and you will be incapacitated and unable to alert anyone that you need help. Without a professional monitoring center, an alarm event may go completely unattended if the customer is away or unavailable to respond in a timely manner, making this a higher-risk option that other types of monitoring.

Third-party monitoring: Many national security companies use a third-party company to monitor the security systems they install. Your security provider installs the security system, but after installation, they hire a separate company to monitor your alarms for you. These monitoring centers are typically located in major cities throughout the country and monitor alarm systems for multiple companies.

The detriment to third-party alarm monitoring centers is that they are often located in an entirely different state than the one they service. These third-party companies lack knowledge of the local geography, weather, or even area events that may be contributing to alarm activity. Also, service calls typically must be routed back to a local dealer, which can delay needed repairs.

Full-service alarm providers: Full-service alarm companies both install and monitor their own alarm systems. These security providers own and operate their own professional monitoring centers. A security company with its own monitoring center is a company who provides the complete package. If your alarm system is monitored by a full-service provider, the monitoring center watching over your system is usually located in, or nearby, the community you live in.

What are the benefits of professional alarm monitoring?

Without professional alarm monitoring, your alarm system alerts you locally through a loud siren. At best, these alerts can also be pushed to a cell phone through a compatible app. However, the potential emergency is not communicated to anyone else. This can be problematic if you’re not able to respond, don’t know why the alarm is triggering, or don’t know who to call.

Professional monitoring connects the alarm system to a real person who can verify the emergency and dispatch the appropriate emergency responders. If you were unable to respond in emergency situations like smoke inhalation or even because of an intruder, the alarm system would still send the alarm. Even if you can’t speak personally to the monitoring center, procedures are in place to contact emergency services on certain signals.

Outside of emergencies, a monitoring center can also serve to remind you to change your batteries or to relate minor alerts your system sends out. A full-service, professional monitoring center serves as a watchdog for your system, ensuring you are protected 24/7 and getting the most out of your security investment. For all intents and purposes, it’s the primary reason most people consider a security system.

What does it mean to be monitored by EPS Security?

When a dedicated professional alarm company such as EPS Security monitors your system, you are monitored by a team of local security experts located right in your backyard. What sets EPS Security apart from other security companies is our local presence and commitment to the communities we service.

At EPS Security, we are your neighbors. We have a great relationship with your local emergency responders, and we are readily available when you need us. When you choose EPS Security, you are selecting a monitoring center that provides full service right where you live and work. With quality customer service and certified professional alarm monitoring, you can rest assured you are getting the most out of your security system.

Learn More: EPS Security Monitoring


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