How Habitec reduces false alarms

False dispatches dropped 57 percent since 2012 following a new subscriber opt-out policy
Wednesday, September 24, 2014

TOLEDO, Ohio—Habitec Security, a monitoring company headquartered here, continues to upgrade its robust false dispatch reduction strategy, and internal company metrics show those efforts are working.

“We’re now closing in on a 57-percent reduction in false dispatches,” John Smythe, president of Habitec Security, told Security Systems News.

In 2012, when Habitec first put enhanced call verification in place, it realized a 20-percent reduction in false alarm dispatches. As part of its strategy, the company has since implemented a false alarm abuser mailing campaign and developed internal alarm procedure changes to decrease false panic alarms and false exterior motion. It also joined the Security Industry Alarm Coalition and the Toledo Police Department to work on a false alarm department policy for the city.

Acting on advice from SIAC, Habitec eased the implementation of ECV by adopting an opt-out policy, effectively making ECV the default standard for customers, according to Smythe. “Basically, almost every single one of our customers chose to go with ECV by not opting out of it,” he noted.

Habitec’s engagement with SIAC and the city of Toledo—where the company monitors about one-third of its 17,000 accounts—continues to generate productive dialogue on the false dispatch front, Smythe told SSN.

“We’ve been having twice-a-year meetings with [the Toledo Police Department], offering advice on how to improve their false alarm ordinance as well updating them on Habitec’s progress, which I know they’ve very impressed with.”

Smythe added that Habitec’s collaboration with the Toledo Police Department and SIAC could spur more progress—particularly if ECV becomes policy at the municipal level for this important location for Habitec’s account base.

“[Toledo] has not gone to enhanced call verification-required yet, but looking at our success that may be the next logical step they take,” he said.