What's the difference between monitored alarms and local alarms?
Simply put, local alarms merely have sirens or flashing lights to let you know that an emergency is taking place. A local alarm does not notify an alarm company or any authorities when it is triggered. You need to call emergency responders yourself if an alarm is triggered, which can be a problem if you are not at the property.
Monitored alarms, like those offered by Vector Security, are connected to a monitoring center where operators are staffed around the clock. If a monitored alarm is triggered, a signal is sent to the monitoring center where operators can dispatch help to your property, whether you are there or not.
What happens when a monitored alarm is triggered?
When an alarm is triggered, a signal is sent to our Monitoring Center. Operators call the property to verify the alarm and then dispatch appropriate authorities if the alarm is real. If no one can be reached at the property, pre-designated emergency contacts are notified. If these contacts cannot be reached, or if they request a dispatch, authorities will be sent to your property.
Will the alarm panel send the signals directly to the police?
No. The alarm panel sends the signal to a Central Station operator who will attempt to verify the alarm by calling the phone number you provided and at least one additional contact. If we are unable to verify the alarm, or if you or a contact requests that the police be sent, the operator will then contact the authorities to request a dispatch.
Why did it take the police so long to respond?
When your alarm is triggered, the CMS provider will attempt to contact you or one of your
additional contacts to verify the alarm. If police dispatch is requested by either you or your
additional contact or if no one can be reached, our Central Station rep will contact the authorities.
The local police department should be contacted for inquiries for delayed response from the police department. There are many factors that can delay response time for the police
department, including (but not limited to) multiple requests for dispatch at the same time,
inclement weather, or distance to the site.
My alarm went off, but my phone didn’t ring. Why?
When the control panel sends an alarm, it takes over the phone line to send the signal to us. This is called "line seizure." Simply put, we, as the alarm company, seize the phone line so that communication between your alarm system and our Central Station takes priority.
If the customer does not have call waiting, we will get a busy signal. If the customer does have call waiting, we will reach their answering machine/service. This most often happens when the panel sends multiple signals (as in this example). If panel only sends one signal, then by the time we call them the panel has released the line.
Can Central Station reps see into my home if I install video?
When your video cameras are installed, you can choose whether or not your cameras will be monitored by the central station. If you choose to have your cameras monitored (this is usually done for cameras that are monitoring outdoor areas), then yes, central station operators will see the video that is recorded when an alarm is triggered. However, you may choose to NOT have your cameras monitored by the Central Station (this is usually done for cameras that are monitoring indoor, residential areas). Cameras that are not monitored by the central station cannot be accessed our operators for any reason, even if requested by the customer.