A few months back, we wrote a post examining Unique Security Monitoring Options. In that post, we briefly touched on the security benefits of interactive cellular monitoring. Simply put, monitoring your alarm through a cell dialer provides the most consistent security monitoring available. Traditional alarm monitoring utilizes a property’s phone lines for communication with the central station. This means that burglars can disable this communication by simply cutting a property’s phone lines. However, cellular monitoring uses a cell dialer installed in your alarm panel to monitor your system. With this dialer in place, cut phone lines no longer affect your alarm monitoring. Furthermore, some cell dialers, such as ours powered by Alarm.com, allow for interactive cellular monitoring. In this post, we discuss interactive cell monitoring in depth, from a commercial security standpoint.

We will begin by describing the level of knowledge and control that interactive cell monitoring provides. From there, we’ll focus on some specific benefits that our interactive cellular customers experience. Finally, we’ll focus on using this type of monitoring to create the fastest alarm responses possible from the authorities. So putting first things first, let’s take a look at what we mean when we discuss interactive cell monitoring, as well as some of its benefits.

What Does Interactive Security Monitoring Entail?

As we pointed out earlier, cellular monitoring allows you to bypass traditional phone lines to monitor your security system. However, interactive cellular monitoring offers many unique features above and beyond this basic benefit. Interactive monitoring allows you to monitor and control your alarm system remotely. This can add tremendous security and convenience. The ability to arm and disarm your alarm through a phone or computer while off-site means that business owners can grant after-hours access without giving away a key or their security system code.

Furthermore, this monitoring option allows you to interact with your alarm system through text alerts. For example, you can receive alerts when employees arm or disarm the security system. You can also receive alerts for any important alarm events. Your cell dialer can alert you to a loss of power in your office, a low sensor battery, or any number of status updates. Finally, interactive cell monitoring adds commercial security through the ability to set up activity schedules. Setting up schedules provides alerts when something that you expect to happen by a certain time does not happen. This leads us into our first specific interactive cell monitoring benefit: the ability to live without worrying about your alarm.

An Alarm.com "system armed" notification.

Business owners use their Alarm.com account to make sure that their businesses get locked up on time every night.

Put Aside Worries About Your Alarm’s Status

Everyone has either left their home, or left work to go home, with the sinking feeling that they forgot something. Did all the lights get shut off? The doors got locked, right? What about the alarm? Of course, leaving your business security system disarmed can put your office — and maybe even your livelihood — at risk. Unfortunately, this does happen sometimes. Interactive monitoring allows you to leave this fear behind for good. For one, you can always check on your alarm’s status. If you fear that either you or your last employee out forgot to arm your security system, simply pick up your phone and check. More likely than not, your fear will be settled upon seeing that your alarm has indeed been activated. However, if it has not, you can do so with the push of a button.

Furthermore, you can use your Alarm.com account to create time-specific alerts based on expected behavior. We mentioned creating these “schedules” in the previous section. In this case, simply choose the latest time you expect your burglar system armed every day. If, for example, you expect everyone out of the building by 6pm every weekday, you can create an alert if nobody arms the alarm by that time. This allows you to check in on the issue and arm the system if your last employee out forgot to do so. Obviously, this feature adds tremendous commercial security for businesses that may get targeted for a break-in after hours. Let’s look at another benefit that adding interactive cell monitoring provides for your business.

Keep Track of Your Business Opening and Closing

Some business owners or managers in charge of security are first arrive at their office and last to leave at the end of the day. These individuals obviously do not have to worry too much about when their offices open and close. However, most higher-ups count on other employees to open and close their business at different times. For these individuals, Alarm.com notifications can help ensure businesses open and close when they should. Creating expected schedules for both opening and closing provides immediate feedback on these events. We’ve already mentioned creating a schedule for setting the alarm at the end of the day. Similarly, you can create a schedule for when you expect someone to come in the store and disarm your security system. If the first person in does so later then expected, you will know immediately.

An "open" sign hanging in a store.

Interactive cellular monitoring allows you ensure your business opens on time every morning, even when you’re not there.

Additionally, Alarm.com users can use their accounts to look up all prior system history, including who arms or disarms the alarm system, and when. If someone showedup late to open on a given day, that event stays in the record. Likewise, if the last employee out leaves earlier than expected, that event becomes permanent as well. Additionally, employees know that their tardiness or eagerness to leave will not go undiscovered. This alone usually acts as a deterrent for anyone wishing to take advantage of the boss’s absence. Now, let’s look at another way that interactive cell monitoring adds both commercial security and convenience.

Manage Employee Codes Efficiently

We put managing alarm codes at the top of our 5 Security System Use Tips, and for good reason. Giving too many people access to your alarm’s master code can lead to issues. For one, people with your code may return after their employment ends for an uninvited visit. Additionally, access to a system’s master code also allows users to program additional codes for themselves or people they know. Obviously, you don’t want your business to get robbed or for anyone else to have access to your alarm’s programming. Giving different codes to different employees can help address both of these dangers.

Unfortunately, keeping track of so many user codes and deleting the codes that should no longer disarm your system can prove tedious. In some cases, customers have an ever-changing physical copy of their employees’ alarm codes. This list often goes out of date as businesses make code changes without recording them. After enough time, workers often do not even know which codes are active and which are not.

Alarm.com makes it easy to add, delete, and manage user codes. By using their Alarm.com account, customers can modify alarm codes and even assign names to these codes in real time. The ability to take care of this programming remotely, rather than at an alarm keypad, adds tremendous convenience. Additionally, the fact that your account tracks these changes in real time also adds a good measure of commercial security. No more forgetting which codes go to which employees, and whose codes work and whose don’t. At this point, we’ve looked at some ways interactive monitoring helps you track alarm use and programming. Now, let’s look at how this monitoring option can create a more efficient response to an emergency.

Create a Quicker Police Response to Alarm Events

A couple months ago, we created a post detailing New Alarm.com Features to Add Security. That article referenced Alarm.com’s newly-launched “Smart Signal” feature. With Smart Signal, users can verify or cancel an alarm remotely using the commands on a pop-up menu that is activated on your phone during an alarm event (pictured). Since verified alarms often take precedence over non-verified alarms, this can create a faster police response to an emergency.

Alarm.com's "Smart Signal" feature open on a smart phone.

The ability to immediately verify or cancel an alarm can lead to a more efficient response to a potential emergency.

Additionally, the ability to immediately cancel an alarm you believe to be false can help you in a couple ways. For one, you can avoid the headache and potential monetary penalties that come with false alarms. Furthermore, you can also avoid gaining a reputation for having false alarms. Busy police departments may respond to false alarm “hotspot” addresses less quickly than to alarms that likely identify an actual emergency. Using Smart Signal to help you on these fronts can add greatly to your overall commercial security experience. Let’s look at one more way you can take advantage of interactive security to create a quick police response when you need it most.

Turn Your Cell Phone into a Panic Device

Business owners often have panic devices installed throughout their building. In our Panic Button Options for Your Security System, we discussed the many forms that panic buttons can take. Some panic buttons create a loud siren response, while some send the central station a silent signal. While most panic devices call for a police response, they can also initiate a call for an ambulance. Your Alarm.com account provides you with a variety of potential panic responses at your fingertips. Police, fire department, and medical responses can all be activated at the touch of a button. Additionally, users can also choose between silent and audible alarm options.

This can help add security to your business in a couple ways. For one, you can activate your alarm’s siren and/or create an instant central station response to most any situation regardless of whether or not your security system is armed. Additionally, users who have access to your Alarm.com account can also use their phones as panic devices. We often set up accounts that allow a business’s owner and management team to use their phones as panic buttons. The ability to activate your alarm from anywhere in or even outside of your business makes your security system even more effective.

Creating Complete Office Security with Interactive Cellular Monitoring

We hope that this post has given you some ideas for utilizing interactive commercial security monitoring. Many of our customers own or manage businesses that represent their livelihood. Therefore, taking every security measure available for their businesses comes as a no-brainer. We encourage you to contact us with any questions you may have about the material in this post. We offer free site surveys to discuss any security concerns you may have at your business. While on site, we can also make suggestions of our own to improve your security. Together, we can create a complete commercial security plan. By taking advantage of the latest in security hardware and monitoring equipment, we can keep your business as safe and secure as possible.