We hope this notice finds you well. Please read it carefully as it contains important news regarding police dispatches for security alerts.
You may be aware that Toronto Police recently announced that they no longer respond to burglar alarms unless there is confirmation of criminal activity or a threat to personal safety. The new requirement is partly a reaction to an internal Police review that found 97% of the alarm events in 2016 to be false alarms.
The monitoring stations are now required to verify an alarm event before requesting a police dispatch. What qualifies as a verified alarm? The following criteria must be met for burglar alarm activations to be verified as a threat:
- Video Confirmation – If you or one of your emergency contacts have remote access to your security cameras and can confirm criminal activity has taken place
- Multiple sensors triggered – If multiple sensors from different parts of a house have been triggered
- Witness Confirmation – If someone like a neighbor is on the emergency contact list and can confirm that illegal activity is taking place
This seems like a scary change but it actually has a positive effect for those with security. Because criminal activity is confirmed before police respond, the events are given higher priority. They send the first available field unit to take care of the problem.
Will this affect panic alarms? No. They exclude panic alarm activations from the verified response criteria. Keep in mind that panic alarms include, but are not limited to, alarms described as panic, hold-up, duress, emergency button, etc.
What can I do to remain secure?
- Keep each external door protected by alarm sensors. Protect windows your windows with regular motion sensors or broken glass sensors. Those on the ground floor and basement take priority. Finally, use motion sensors on each floor to verify alarms.
- Have reliable security cameras with remote access. We strongly recommend both indoor and outdoor cameras. Put them near each entry point such as the front, side, and rear doors and windows.
- Use motion sensors with a built-in camera system. This sensor automatically takes photographs when the alarm goes off. It then sends them to our monitoring stations through the alarm system.
- Request us to dispatch a private security guard, as opposed to the police. However, keep in mind that if the alarm is verified, police will likely arrive before a private security guard.
Let us help you with any concerns you may have with this new procedure. Call us today at 416-697-7329. We can also talk about options to enhance your security systems and make your property safer.