By Michelle Evans, Operations Center Manager
Posted June 20, 2008
The most important thing our operators can do for each and every one of you is to devote 100 percent of their attention to monitoring your facility from the time you turn on your security system and leave until you return and turn it off. Even though we work diligently to minimize distractions, there remain a few items you can help with.
One of the more common signals we receive is what we call â€œdisarm with alarmâ€ or â€œarm with alarmâ€. This occurs when a customer enters their building through the wrong (non-delay) door, or exceeds the entry delay time allowed before disarming at the keypad. Or when a customer arms the system and then exits their building through the wrong (non-delay) door, or exceeds the exit delay time and causes an alarm upon leaving. Each time this happens, the operator must research the activity and verify that the alarm is indeed valid. Remember â€“ our customer service representatives offer FREE security system training for employees and users as often as you may need.
Another situation is what we refer to as â€œlate to armâ€ activity. This happens when systems are not armed by the scheduled time provided to our operators. In each case, the operator calls the location in an attempt to verify that the facility is still occupied. If no contact is made, the operator begins calling responders listed for the account to advise of the situation. This process continues until contact is made. You can help by insuring that your system is armed and calling us in advance to let us know if someone will be staying late.
A major, though not as common distraction can be radios or other machinery/equipment left on after arming. Since our systems are based on audio detection and what we hear, any unnecessary background noise detracts from our monitoring process. Then, of course, is the task of contacting someone to return to the building to turn off the cause of the noise. Please remember to turn unnecessary equipment or machinery off before arming your system.
The most serious situation we encounter occurs when someone enters a building to â€œquickly grab something I forgotâ€ and leaves without disarming and rearming their system. Some customers are under the incorrect assumption that if they can quickly run in and back out, and as long as they are out of the building before the delay time expires (before the keypad stops beeping), that we will not receive an alarm and that they donâ€™t need to disarm and rearm. This appears to the operator as a threatening, unauthorized entry, leaving them no choice but to dispatch the police or guard service. Not only is this expensive for our client, but it is an unnecessary use of police, guard service, and operator resources. Fortunately, this only happens occasionally. Please make sure all users understand the importance of disarming every time they enter an armed facility â€“ even if itâ€™s â€œonly for a minuteâ€.
Remember, we are happy to offer initial and recurrent training as often as you want â€“ itâ€™s all part of the Sonitrol Pacific Commitment to Service and free to you.