Security News

Perimeter Protection

How it works around the home

"Market pressures continue to squeeze the residential alarm business with attrition and alternative solutions. Monitored outdoor protection, adding a layer of perimeter security around an existing indoor alarm, delivers tangible value to actually grow and stay ahead of evolving markets. The alarm market is changing.

Home Automation RMR is declining as consumers discover free alternatives sold at big box stores for interactive lighting, locks and thermostats. New DIY alarm systems seek to displace the installer as customers buy direct. A similar wave of self-monitored systems sold through Amazon and BestBuy seek to displace Central Station monitoring. The sky is not falling. Residential dealers now have a new tool to drive up RMR and resign multiyear contracts and deliver greater value with increased protection.

What is best is that the “solution” is still squarely security and not an HVAC upgrade. Perimeter security with priority police response is a strong selling point to enhance alarms where the police respond slowly, if at all."

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The Case for Video Verification

If you haven’t already heard, the alarm industry is in transition: a steam roller of change whether we like it or not. We have spent the year watching Google spend $4 billion on Nest and Dropcam as they attempt to hijack the home automation market. Apple’s new iOS comes preloaded with a home automation app that builds on Z-Wave Alliance open architecture product lines.

For both these giants, “security” is only a bolt-on service to check among their list of lifestyle convenience features, a watered down security offering and a free app. If we look the other direction, there’s a new wave of “Do It Yourselfers” hitting the market with inexpensive, easy-to-install systems that are actually monitored by the same top-tier, UL-listed central stations that we use at half or a third of the price of a traditional alarm system.

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Are DIY & MIY Heralding ‘Alarmageddon’?

Do It Yourself or “DIY” is exploding with the arrival of Google and Apple in the connected home scene. In 2014, Google invested nearly 10 times the RMR of the entire SDM 100 — $4 billion for the acquisition of three companies, Nest, Dropcam, and Revolv — just to enter the game and promote Monitor It Yourself or “MIY” for consumers who don’t need or want a central station. Google sells “deterrence” as a security feature that bolts on to its Next and Dropcam suite of services.

This is “Alarmageddon,” a frontal assault discarding the central station from the alarm industry business model. MIY represents a unique threat, where the younger demographic concerned about personal security is willing to do it on their own with the help of new technology.

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Police want to make more arrests, not just reduce false alarms

Security Sales & Integration, October 2014: 

"The city of Coral Gables has approved the “Quick Response Burglary Prevention Program” in an effort to increase police response times to residential burglaries.

Passed Sept. 23, the new program allows city residents to authorize their alarm company to immediately contact the Coral Gables Police Department for dispatch if the homeowner does not answer on the security firm’s first try, Miami Herald reports.

Prior to the new ordinance, alarm companies were required to contact the homeowner, then up to two other numbers provided to reach the alarm user, and then police.

City officials were prompted to change the ordinance after residents complained about burglaries this summer. Police said that enhanced call verification (ECV) created an artificial delay in officer response times to residential intrusion incidents, thus hindering the catching of criminals."

With this program moving forward it is clear that the primary motivation of law enforcement is not false alarm reduction but enabling the fastest response possible to actual intrusions and catching the suspects. Monitored video verification of the alarm, along with this expedited call verification method, would provide the police additional intelligence and incentive in responding to the alarm event. 

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Video Plays Verifiable Role in Alarm Response

Learn how law enforcement agencies are defining verified alarm and their different response methodologies.

"What is a verified alarm? It depends who is asked. From the law enforcement perspective, many police chiefs and sheriffs define a “verified alarm” as a crime-in-progress deserving priority response, and this view is becoming increasingly important.

In fact, the cover story in the June issue of FBI National Academy Associate magazine promotes video verified alarms as a force multiplier for fighting crime. The new best practices created by the Partnership for Priority Video Alarm Response (PPVAR) are being embraced by the National Academy, which trains the best and brightest of our nation’s law enforcement (sheriffs and police) who then bring these best practices back to their local jurisdictions.

In contrast, for many in the alarm industry a verified alarm simply prevents a needless dispatch to a false alarm. The term verified alarm generates confusion between these groups because of what they actually seek to verify — a crime or a false alarm. The same term is used in two different ways; sometimes broadly referring to false alarm reduction and sometimes narrowly referring to validating a crime-in-progress."

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Police chief: "ECV methods and cross-zoning [don't] qualify as verification technology"

"Law enforcement is taking an increasingly active role in shaping video verification alarm policies. Testament to this are the best practices recently completed by the Partnership for Priority Video Alarm Response, which made law enforcement feedback a defining feature of the process. While verified alarm proponents tout the technology’s ability to foil criminals and reduce false alarms, one police chief closely involved with that process warns that if jurisdictions do not follow best practices, the benefits of video verification may not be maximized."

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FBI National Academy embraces video verification in cover article

"Many believe that video has impacted law enforcement’s ability to fight crime more than any other innovation in the past generation; the ultimate 'force multiplier.' CCTV cameras are now crucial in protecting public property with thousands of cameras watching over traffic intersections, stadiums, critical infrastructure and public buildings. This same video revolution is changing the burglar alarms as affordable video alarm systems move the 'force multiplier' concept beyond public infrastructure and out into local homes and businesses; giving eyes to the millions of wireless sensors already monitored by the alarm companies."

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Video alerts give Modesto security officers an edge over criminals

"The partnership has resulted in nearly 50 citizen’s arrests by Ontel officers in Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties, said Chief of Security David McCann. 'With regular security systems, you get crystal-clear video of whatever the bad guy is using to hide his face, two days after the fact,' Dunn said. 'Without that response, it’s all irrelevant. The most information you can get to the first responder, that’s what’s important.'"


Sheriff Magazine - Videofied Cactus Cams Clean Crime from Community

"The 36th Street Trailhead in Tucson is the gateway to the beautiful Pima County trail system but it had become a threat to neighboring residents and a crime magnet in the community. The remote parking lot offered young adults an unsupervised venue that encouraged drugs, parties and other crime and left the neighborhood frustrated and fearful. The remote site was difficult to protect; isolated all by itself at the extreme edge of law enforcement patrols. The trailhead became popular as the hangout of choice and things degraded further when vandals chained a truck to the access gate and pulled it into pieces of twisted metal. The parking lot was overrun with litter, bottles, paraphernalia and graffiti; these leftovers from a constant stream of parties welcomed any who attempted to access the county trails."


White Paper - Video Verification: Reducing Contractor Risk and Mitigating Lawsuits

By Jeffrey D. Zwirn

"Alarm contractors face inherent risks when they design, recommend, install, service, inspect, test, maintain, and monitor alarm systems. These risks include, but are not limited to litigation claims, based upon the actions and inactions of an alarm company, and that their conduct was a significant proximate cause to the damages sustained in the loss. One way to help minimize the profusion of defects and irregularities sometimes found in alarm contracting, is to consider video verification solutions, in lieu of more traditional alarm system technologies."

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Retail: Priority Response - Verified alarms deliver faster police — and retail end-users are taking notice

"Declining budgets are forcing sheriffs and police departments to adopt technology as a “force multiplier” in their battle against crime. Affordable technology, not more officers, is the answer; in fact, over the past three decades video has become law enforcement’s single most important technology tool for fighting crime and millions of cameras have been installed to improve community safety."

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Sheriffs Working on New Alarm Standards – More Arrests/Fewer False Alarms

"Sheriffs are taking a proactive role in driving alarm technology to make more arrests with the Partnership for Priority Video Alarm Response (PPVAR). This public/private has brought together law enforcement, the alarm industry and the insurers to create new alarm standards and best practices to maximize the value of video alarms as a 'force multiplier' in the battle against property crime."

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Michigan police chiefs embrace video alarms

"Video verified alarm systems are becoming a significant tool that pushes the power of video into the local homes and businesses to maximize the effectiveness of limited law enforcement resources... Alarm companies are embracing the new potential of video and are actively working with law enforcement at both a local and national level to maximize the value of video verified alarms to make arrests and reduce false alarms."

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Video Verified Alarms Increase Arrests And Reduce Property Crime

"In practice, 90 percent or more of burglar alarms are false, and studies have estimated the related arrest rate at about 0.02 percent. No wonder law enforcement responds as a low priority, if at all. In contrast, a video-verified security alarm provides the virtual equivalent of an eye-witness to a crime in progress, and responding to video alarms yields arrest rates in the double digits – 20 percent or higher. That's a thousand times higher than non-video alarms."

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Verified alarm? Definitions vary

"It’s likely that a new comprehensive verification standard will surface sometime in 2014. The Central Station Alarm Association is in the process of developing such a standard for all manner of verified alarms, and the Partnership for Priority Video Alarm Response, since its inception, has been gathering best practices toward that end."

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Akron, OH enacts verified alarm response policy

"Plagued by an astronomical 98 percent false alarm rate for security systems, Akron, Ohio is following the lead of several other major American cities and introducing verified alarm response..."

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ESXperience Webinar - See the Opportunity: Best Practices with Video Verified Alarms

This 40 minute webinar covers key questions, concepts, and business advantages of video verification for alarm installing companies. 

Watch now


Alarm industry backs PPVAR’s quest for video verification standards

"More than three-quarters of respondents to an SSN News Poll survey believe written video verification standards are necessary... A core value of the technology, as champions of video verification will tell you, is its ability to increase apprehensions by making alarms a priority response to law enforcement, thereby reducing response time."

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Affiliated rolls out InView at Security Summit '13

"The big news emanating out of Affiliated Monitoring’s Security Summit ’13 was (as expected) the roll out of InView, the company’s new video monitoring platform. Compatible with a host of DVR and NVR manufacturers, the suite signals Affiliated's entrance into video verified alarms."

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Videofied working with PPVAR and law enforcement on new video verification standards

"With the goal of having a set of video verification standards in place by June 2014, a group of law enforcement and alarm industry representatives gathered for the first time to hash out the best-practices for video alarm response."

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January '14 Digital Edition

Telguard Inks OEM deal with Videofied

The ultimate goal of the OEM agreement is to actually put the Videofied “panel” into the Telguard product to reduce cost and make it even more simple. The Telguard unit will communicate directly to the Videofied MotionViewers for monitored, video-verified alarms and smartphone Look-in.  

Telguard Release

SecurityInfoWatch Release 

Security Sales & Integration: Security Web Poll

High-tech safety net - San Antonio Express-News

"'It provides real-time video verification of a burglary in progress,'... The video clip reveals whether there's a trespasser on the premises or just a curious deer or raccoon."

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Law Enforcement Make Arrests with Videofied

How the alarm system can reduce property crime, improve public and officer safety, and lower insurance premiums

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Why Video Verification Is Seeing More Success

Technology advances and crumbling costs are helping video verified alarms penetrate the security marketplace. Thanks to benefits that include better security and likelihood of apprehensions, as well as false alarm reduction, customers, law enforcement and insurers have taken notice. It all adds up to more recurring revenue.

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Videofied Reduces Retail Losses

"While the classic 'blind burglar alarm' continues to exist, the new monitored video alarm is transforming the alarm industry, Hughes notes, citing alarm technology from Videofied where wireless sensors with integrated cameras (called MotionViewers) detect the intruder, film the event, and send the video clip of the incident to a central station for immediate review/dispatch by a monitoring operator."

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Videofied helps drive ORC arrest rates up 50%

"In charge of corporate security for plumbing and building supplier Ferguson Enterprises, Johnson oversees 1,300 locations in 50 states.  And his company’s wares are high on the list of targeted ORC products. Copper pipes? High-end appliances? He needs to protect them all, both at his warehouse yards and at his retail stores.

For the past three years, Ferguson has used a Videofied security system in areas where ORC is the worst. Resulting arrests have gone up 50 percent, he said."

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New Georgia law gives video verified alarms priority response

A new Georgia statute gives video verified alarms the same priority as fire, in-progress-burglary, and panic alarms. This new statute supports continued response for traditional blind alarms but recognizes that video verified alarms deserve priority response.

Videofied makes front page news at ISC West!

The Show Daily of ISC West covered the new Indoor MotionViewer from Videofied. The new indoor product line brings video verification in to the mainstream burglar alarm market. Indoor video verified alarms cost nearly the same as traditional alarms but deliver faster police response. 

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Insurance News

Insurance Thought Leadership, February 11, 2013  

We need a strong public/private partnership to combat property crime. Underwriters must answer the question, "How can we encourage policyholders to use video alarms and police response to reduce losses?"

Traditional burglar alarms have lost much of their value as a tool for loss control, but video alarms are taking their place. Police response to burglar alarms is degrading and in many cases police departments have stopped responding to traditional alarms unless they are verified....

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Moving Verified Monitoring to Public-Private Partnerships, February 7, 2013

Monitoring of alarms has been around—well, since the beginning of the industry. But has it lost it pizzazz with mass-marketed alarms and self-monitoring via smartphones, iPads and other connectivity devices? Have we diluted our value proposition? Not if the industry continues to tell its story, educate the user and focus on partnerships between the police, sheriffs, insurance providers and alarm companies who understand the importance of being able to verify alarms in progress...

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Why Wi-Fi Is Not Wireless for Alarm Systems

Security Sales & Integration, February 1, 2013

Wireless makes installing alarms easy, not just because wireless sensors use radio frequency (RF) to communicate, but because they really have no wires. Wireless alarm sensors are battery-powered and can be installed anywhere because they are truly wireless.

However, the term wireless has more than one definition. Wireless IP cameras are different because, while they transmit over Wi-Fi, they are not battery-powered — they still need a power cable to operate (at least not for more than a few hours). Having a power cord fundamentally changes the installation, different from the “lick and stick” of traditional wireless alarm devices...

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RMR For The Cost Of A PIR: Exploring the benefits of cameras and smartphones equipped with motion sensors

Security Today, January 1, 2013 

The world has changed. Free video is everywhere. Nobody carries a separate camera anymore—everything is a camera, including laptops, iPads and cell phones. Video is now a part of life and consumers expect it that way. If laptops, cell phones and iPads have video cameras, why not PIR motion sensors? Why are dealers still forced to spend the extra time and money installing separate IP cameras when they already install wireless electronic sensors?

The MotionViewer changes this by combining a wireless PIR with a camera; one more device with its own camera at the cost of a wireless PIR. Video is now free for the alarm industry as well...

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