Operator response time industry average? Wouldn’t you like to know…

operatortime1I was going through my email this morning and came across a call for help from Mark Simpson, manager of central station alarm monitoring services at San Francisco-based RFI Security. RFI Security is a “diversified multi-systems integrator that has been designing, installing, servicing and monitoring, technology-driven security and fire/life safety solutions for over thirty years.”

Anyway, Mark posted a request to CSAA’s ACCENT listserv. Mark said he was looking for input from his fellows at central stations out there to help come up with and industry standard for operator response time.

One of the metrics we have started to grade our central station on this year is Operator Response Time. This is the average amount of time that elapses between an alarm first hitting the automation buffer and when it is actually retrieved by an operator for processing.

Seems to me that that would be a valuable piece of information for any central station to have.

We measure average response time for fire and burglar alarms separately, to account for the difference in priority, and we also look at response times averaged by the day of the week, and by hour of the day.

Again, useful information for a central station manager to have in order to assess performance and know where they stand compared to days, weeks, months and years past. It would help in gauging progress. But wouldn’t it be neat to know where your organization stood compared to the rest of the industry?

If your central station also measures operator response time, would you be willing to share your numbers (privately)? We have been measuring against ourselves, but we would like to determine if there is an industry baseline we can compare ourselves to. Obviously no two centrals are the same, and number of accounts vs number of dispatchers can swing the numbers one way or another, but the larger the data pool the better. I would like to compile as many responses as possible and then share the results amongst those who participate.

If you would like to participate, please let me know.


I like to see that… Folks in the industry reaching out to each other, comparing notes to generate useful metrics so that everyone can function better. Nice work Mark.

Anyone interested in participating in the Operator Response Time metrics project can contact Mark via email or phone at 408-882-4260 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              408-882-4260      end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

If you’re interested in getting on the ACCENT listserv, reach out to Grace Fanzo over at CSAA.