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Security Alarm Study

Five-year study of security alarms released

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Fire is the biggest risk for both residential and commercial properties, followed by burglaries, which tend to spike in the summer and winter months, according to a new study completed by American Alarm and Communications of verified alarms from homes and businesses across Greater Boston and central New England.

“Given our monitoring footprint in New England, and our systems for tracking alarm events, we use this data to understand local trends and to help people better manage risk in their homes or places of business,” Wells Sampson, president of American Alarm, said about the study. “When we decided to look at five years of data, and saw the results, we felt there would be public benefit if we released the information so everyone in our region is aware of these trends.”

The study, entitled “Regional Security Report: Five-Year Study of Verified Alarms, 2014-2018,” analyzed data collected at the company’s monitoring center that tracks activity from its professionally installed and maintained security and life-safety systems at nearly 30,000 locations, primarily in greater Boston, central Massachusetts, Rhode Island and southern New Hampshire.

During the five-year period studied, 1,644 verified alarms occurred, including 532 fire alarms, 333 burglar (intrusion) alarms, 224 elevator entrapments and 185 panic alarms (also called hold-up alarms). A verified alarm is defined as a signal caused by an actual event that posed a threat and required intervention.

The following is a summary of results:
•    Fire is the biggest risk for residential and commercial property, followed by burglary;
•    Fire alarms spike in January and February, doubling the monthly average;
•    Burglar alarms are more frequent during the summer and winter months;
•    Burglar alarms are concentrated in late evening and overnight hours;
•    Panic alarms peak in the mornings and afternoons at banks, and in the late evenings at gas stations and convenience stores; and
•    Elevator alarms are mostly from commercial buildings and clustered during business hours.

For more information on the types and timing of alarms, see the report here.