One of the most important aspects of installing a security system lies in its monitoring capabilities. In addition to creating a screaming siren response upon activation, monitored alarms also create a response from our central station. This allows us to check in on the situation and, if necessary, even dispatch the proper authorities. As you can imagine, this service provides our customers tremendous security and peace of mind. Moreover, we can improve your security above and beyond burglar-related monitoring. Our security systems can alert you to many other forms of alarm activity to make your alarm more effective than ever. In this post, we review some of our lesser-known alarm monitoring features to help you see what options may work for you!
First, we’ll explain our two-way voice services that put customers in direct communication with our central station operators through their alarms without the need for a phone call. Then, we’ll shift our focus to our open/close reports that let you track system arming and disarming events. From there, we’ll look at how our cellular dialer can add multiple layers of security to your alarm. Finally, we’ll also review the ways that we can add video monitoring packages that take advantage of modern smart home surveillance technology. Now, let’s dive in and see how our two-way voice monitoring can work for you!
Two-Way Voice for Quick Communication
In our post on Security Measures that Improve Senior Citizen Safety in the Home, we brushed on the topic of two-way voice monitoring. While not the most well-known monitoring option, this service certainly has its place. Two-way voice monitoring allows users to talk directly through their security system’s speaker to a central station dispatcher. The alarm establishes this connection as soon your alarm system is activated. In the case of a burglary alarm, this allows the central station to determine the level of threat the event presents, as they can hear any nefarious activity within your home. In the case of a false alarm, users can quickly provide the dispatcher with the information necessary to cancel the alarm. Of course, a real burglary will lead to a quick call to the police station. In the meantime, hearing the central station dispatcher talking through the security system usually scares the perpetrator quite a bit.
Furthermore, this form of security monitoring also adds life safety in other situations. We often provide mobile panic buttons for elderly customers who may need assistance at any time. During an emergency, these customers may find it difficult to get to a phone and make a call. Simply pressing the panic button begins a conversation with the central station. While not every company offers this service, we’ve long used it to provide security and peace of mind to our customers. Now, let’s turn our focus to one of our most popular lesser-known alarm monitoring features.
While many customers may not know the unique term for this service, many of them ask for it. Open/close reports provide a log of who arms and disarms your security system, and when. This security monitoring option has plenty of potential uses. For example, many business owners use it to ensure that employees show up on time to work. Disarming the alarm system at this points creates an “opening” event. Likewise, arming the system at the end of the day also creates a “closing” event. We have a couple options for customers wishing to track these events, so let’s review both.
Unsupervised Open/Close Reports
The most basic level of open/close reports is receiving “unsupervised” reports. At this level, the central station sends the alarm owner a weekly email report detailing each opening and closing event. For many business and homeowners, this periodic check-in provides enough detail. In addition to seeing what times people armed and disarmed the alarm system, the reports can also help track who did the arming or disarming. If you provide different codes for different users, the open/close report includes the code used to arm and disarm the security system at different times. Therefore, if someone shows up late, leaves early, or disarms the security system after hours, you will know who it was. Our next level of open/close reports takes this security concept one step further.
Supervised Open/Close Reports
Our “supervised” level of open/close reports also gives some real-time monitoring support. When we set a customer up with this service, we set up an “expected” schedule of openings and closings. For example, business owners may expect employees to disarm the security system every day by 7am. At the end of the day, they may expect the system armed again by 6pm. If either one of these events does not happen, our central station will call our subscribers and let them know. This allows our customers to look into the situation immediately. In this manner, supervised open/close reports helps customers track security system use in real time. This in turn helps them ensure that people show up when expected and arm the security system when leaving. Let’s look at another service that provides our users both extra security and peace of mind.
Cell-Based Alarm Monitoring
Traditional alarm monitoring relies on a hardwired telephone line to create a connection between an alarm and a central station. However, a couple of factors have started to make this form of alarm monitoring seem outdated. For one, many customers have shed their landlines. These customers generally install cellular dialers to maintain their alarm’s connection to the central station without a traditional phone line in place. Cellular dialers use a cell phone network, rather than a landline, to communicate to the central station. A second factor in installing these dialers lies in their ability to communicate even if burglars cut a property’s phone lines. Many thieves take this precaution, so using a monitoring service that doesn’t get affected by this act adds tremendous security.
In addition, many customers prefer the extra functionality and convenience provided through interactive cellular monitoring. Some cellular dialers, such as ours powered by Alarm.com, offer these services. Interactive monitoring allows users to control their security system remotely. Forget to set the alarm on the way to work? Simply grab your phone and use the Alarm.com app to take care of it. Interactive cell monitoring also generates custom security alerts for events such as low batteries or sensor trouble signals. Many attribute the desire for this technology to the “newer generation” of homeowners. However, we’ve found that this easy-to-use technology works for our customers across all demographics. Next up, let’s see how we can add cameras to your security monitoring for an added layer of security!
Video Monitoring Add-Ons
Our Alarm.com customers have the ability to add a couple powerful security devices to their network of monitored alarm devices. For starters, Alarm.com smart cameras allow you to check in on your property in real time on your phone. This gives you “eyes” on your home or business in real time on demand. Moreover, these cameras also store a months’ worth of motion-based video clips in the cloud for future viewing.
On a similar note, our Alarm.com video doorbells provide a unique level of door security. These devices allow you to review both live and recorded video, just like standard Alarm.com smart cameras. Additionally, they also allow you to have a 2-way conversation with anyone at the door. Adding this video streaming and storage does boost your monitoring rates slightly, but many customers find the added security well worth the cost! For this reason, our smart camera and video streaming services have represented one of our most popular lesser-known alarm monitoring features of the last several years.
Putting Our Lesser-Known Alarm Monitoring Features to Work for You
We hope that this post helps you determine what monitoring options work best for you! Additionally, we also encourage you to contact us with any questions raised by reading this post. As an added step, we also invite you to take advantage of our free site survey program. We offer compimentary security audits and equipment quotes to both new and existing customers alike. While onsite, we can address any security concerns you may have. Furthermore, we can make suggestions of our own based on observtaions made during our visit. We’ve helped over a thousand customers make informed security plans with our help, including finding the lesser-known alarm monitoring features that fit your needs. Together, we can help keep your property — and everyone on it — as safe and secure as possible.