CSAA group to study alarm technologies

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Saturday, February 1, 2003

VIENNA, Va. - A new sub-committee of the Central Station Alarm Association will begin its study of different methods of alarm verification at its first meeting slated for the ISC West show in March.
The committee, led by Lou Fiore, who also chairs the CSAA’s Standards Committee, will investigate video, biometrics, audio and other existing and developing technologies that will help to shape an eventual standard for electronic alarm verification.

Fiore said the formation of the group, a sub-committee of the Public Sector Liaison Committee, is to some extent precipitated by a flurry of municipalities considering or adopting increasingly stringent alarm ordinances, including those that require alarm users or alarm companies to provide a second form of verification of an actual event.

The CSAA last fall adopted a resolution to endorse the use of multiple call verification, where a central station dispatcher will make a number of phone calls to contacts on a residence or business call list to attempt to verify the alarm. That resolution followed the adoption of a similar declaration of support for that verification method from the International Association of Chiefs of Police, a law enforcement association that works closely with the CSAA on reducing false alarms.

The multiple call method is said to eliminate about 80 percent of false dispatches, according to CSAA officials.

Fiore said his exploratory committee is trying to find a new method of verifying alarms, where multiple call verification is a solution to correct today’s method of alarm monitoring.

“Multiple call verification is a very good answer for what’s already in the field,” Fiore said. The committee is “looking at it on a going forward basis…with new technology for new installations and for retrofitting old installations.”

The committee will likely consist of a dozen members, with representation from manufacturers, law enforcement and the legal community and will report to CSAA’s Public Sector Liaison Committee with its findings.