Are You Doing All You Can in the Interest of Public Safety?
Our efforts have taken many forms in the past, and now we are working together through the Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC). SIAC was formed by all major professional trade associations in North America â€“ Canadian Alarm & Security Association, National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association, Central Station Alarm Association, and Security Industry Association â€“ representing all aspects of our industry.
The initiatives and studies developed by SIAC and our predecessors have resulted in an understanding of how our technology, services and the work we do integrate with public safety agencies. This includes the Model States Report and Model Ordinance, and more recently the significant SIA CP-01 equipment standard and the Enhanced Call Verification (ECV) protocol.
While these programs, developed jointly with the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the National Sheriffs Association, have proven effective, nothing has a bigger impact than the involvement of you. If you understand the importance of ECV in the reduction of alarm dispatches and the increase in customer satisfaction, that is the most important part of this program.
ECV works in theory, and as companies have begun to implement the protocol of calling a second telephone number prior to requesting a dispatch from a law enforcement agency, we have found the results are better than projected. Calls for service drop almost immediately, and eliminate additional work for the central station that a police dispatch requires.
Ten years ago ECV would not have been as effective, but now we live in a world where most of your customers carry a cellular telephone. That simple fact has resulted in reductions in police dispatches from 25 to 60 percent. We also found that customers attach a high perceived value to your action of calling them and relate it to the fact that you are providing 24/7 monitoring for their property. ECV also eliminates the possibility of your customer being subjected to punitive fines and penalties, which some municipalities impose if they respond to an invalid alarm.
Upgrading your equipment will certainly take more time and consideration, but most manufacturers are now incorporating the SIA CP-01 standards into their products. Again, reducing costs and increasing customer satisfaction are objectives your company can pursue by using these products in your new installations and retrofits.
I know that if you are running a good, growth-oriented alarm company, then you are already doing many of these things because it is common sense and good business. Alarm companies provide products, service and technology that have an impact on the safety and security of your customers and the community as a whole. You understand that principle and demonstrate it by being a responsible and responsive company.
SIAC works every day on the national level to continue to bring the best programs forward for your consideration. We also have an experienced and qualified team in the field working with alarm associations, public safety agencies and municipalities to ensure that public safety remains our shared goal.
While these efforts are good, maybe the most important thing you can do is to develop and maintain your personal relationships with local public safety agencies. They understand that you are important to maintain the benefits of a proven public-private partnership that shares their goal of securing the community. I know that many of you do this already, but we must continue to encourage all companies in our industry to develop these relationships.
I applaud your efforts, and hope you will continue to look to SIAC as a resource for your company, your customers, your community, your association and your industry. Please visit www.siacinc.org to learn more about Enhanced Call Verification.