In September 2018, some police services changed the way they respond to security alarms and introduced a ‘Verified Alarm Response’ requirement for security alarm activations. Read on to see what this means for your Smart Home Monitoring service.
What is Verified Alarm Response?
Verified Alarm Response is a process that provides confirmation to police that criminal activity is occurring or has taken place, or that there’s an imminent threat to personal safety.
To help ensure the police are responding to actual emergencies, they won't respond to security alarms unless there is confirmation of a break-in.
Which municipal police services have a Verified Alarm Response requirement for security alarm activations?
Police services in the following municipalities have a Verified Alarm Response requirement:
- Alberta: Calgary, Edmonton
- British Columbia: Boston Bar, Chilliwack, Harrison Hot Springs, Mission and Surrey
- Manitoba: Winnipeg
- Ontario: Hamilton, London, Toronto, Waterloo and York
- Saskatchewan: Regina
When will a police service with a Verified Alarm Response requirement respond to a security alarm?
Police services with a Verified Alarm Response requirement will respond to a security alarm when there’s confirmation that criminal activity is occurring or has taken place, or that there’s an imminent threat to personal safety.
At least one of the following is required for verification:
- Audio device detecting burglary
- Video device detecting burglary
- Eyewitness confirmation
- Multiple zone activations: at least one entry or exit zone and one perimeter zone activated (e.g., a door/window sensor and a motion sensor)
The following police services have additional verification requirements or exceptions:
Calgary Police Service
Two emergency contacts must be reached.
Edmonton Police Service
Alarm verification is not required if firearms, ammunition, explosives, or hazardous material are on-site.
Regina Police Service
Police will respond to a glass break sensor or roof hatch alarm.
What can I do to make sure I meet verification requirements?
To increase the likelihood of a verified alarm, place motion sensors near entrances. The triggering of both motion and door/window sensors acts as verification. Most systems are already set up this way.
Is an activated panic alarm included as a Verified Alarm Response requirement?
No. If a panic alarm is activated, police will respond with no further verification needed.
I subscribe to Smart Home Monitoring with 24/7 Central Monitoring. What does all this mean for me?
Your safety and security are very important. In the event of an alarm, your system will contact the Central Monitoring Station (CMS).
As always, the CMS will try to contact you through the Touchpad or through your emergency contacts. The CMS will also contact the police, unless they’re instructed not to.
The CMS will let the police know if:
- Devices have been triggered in multiple zones
- They were able to reach an emergency contact
- They could hear any sounds indicating a break-in