CSAA video standard nears approval

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

VIENNA, Va.—On Nov. 28, the CSAA released a final draft of CS-V-02 Video Verification Procedures for Burglar Alarms for committee review, a precursor to the final stages of public review and ANSI accreditation.
“This standard should be up for public comment by the end of February and, assuming nothing more needs to be changed, we hope to announce this standard at the ESX show in June,” said Jim McMullen, CSAA chairman of the video verification committee and president of third-party monitoring firm C.O.P.S.
“The essence of this standard is primarily how to use video to verify and visually identify the source of an alarm event, which will lead to the reduction of false dispatches,” said McMullen. “One of the caveats of this standard is that it’s not designed to be used by itself for verification of false alarms, it’s designed to work in conjunction with other verification methods such as two-call verification.”
This standard addresses application issues, such as cameras being aligned with an alarm event and the ability of monitoring facility personnel to reasonably deduce from video images the source of an alarm, as opposed to issues of technological specifications. Although the standard requires a minimum of five frames of captured video be transmitted to the monitoring facility (two frames of video before the alarm event, one at the time of the event, and two after the event), it does not specifically address technological requirements, said McMullen.
“This standard doesn’t box anyone into a corner based on today’s technologies; it doesn’t talk about transmission modes or compression size, because at the end of the day, it’s a dispatcher looking at a video and they should be able to make a reasonable judgment about whether or not the event was triggered by a person or dog,” said McMullen. “If we wrote standards around technological items, we’d actually be hindering the industry from further enhancements.”
To read this standard, visit the CSAA’s Web site at www.csaaul.org/CSAAStandards.htm.