Home Security - 5
Residential Alarm Systems
visible from the street, and protected
Alarm systems are an important tool to be considered from tampering. Horns placed inside
the home can be disorienting if
when developing a security strategy. Unfortunately too activated while the house is
many people rely on alarm systems as their only means occupied by the homeowner.
of protection. Further, neighbours may have
difficulty pinpointing the source of
the noise when required. Sirens
should be on timers so that when
An alarm system is NOT a complete system. Once the call information is activated they sound for four to five
security system. Considering all received and processed by the police minutes.
aspects of physical security, (natural Communications Center (usually a
surveillance, physical security and couple of minutes) the first available UNDERSTAND WHAT WILL BE
lifestyle) and integrating these with an police units are assigned to respond. DETECTED
alarm system will enhance the burglary This can take a few minutes to an hour Often homeowners are drawn to alarm
resistance of your home. The following or more. systems by low or no cost deals. In
points should be considered when exchange for a monthly monitoring
considering the purchase of an alarm charge set over several years, some
system. • Unmonitored Systems alarm companies will install a “basic
Unmonitored systems often use alarm system” for free. These systems
audible bells or sirens to attract are often suited for smaller homes and
UNDERSTAND WHAT attention to the premises during an offer only minimal detection coverage.
HAPPENS WHEN AN ALARM alarm condition, and rely on When purchasing an alarm system,
GOES OFF neighbours or others to contact the homeowners should consider
police. There are advantages and protecting all reasonably accessible
Monitored System disadvantages to these systems. points of entry, such as:
The vision of police racing to the scene
of an alarm with sirens blaring is • All entrances (including the
fiction. When an alarm contact is • Sirens, Horns And Strobe inner and outer garage doors,)
broken, several things can occur before Lights • All accessible windows (incl-
the police respond. The homeowner As mentioned above, police uding basement.)
usually has approximately 30-45 response, although desirable, will
seconds to turn off the alarm. If the not happen as fast as a burglar can An alarm system should activate as the
alarm is not deactivated during this complete his task and flee the scene. home’s perimeter is being violated,
preset time, an alarm condition is It is important to consider that NOT AFTER the burglar is already in
created. The alarm monitoring station burglars will normally attempt to
would then receive a signal. The avoid being seen during the
station will follow your instructions on commission of a burglary.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON
verifying the legitimacy of the alarm Therefore, the more attention
THIS SUBJECT, PLEASE CONTACT:
condition. This can involve several attracted to a home, during the
phone calls and take several minutes. burglary, the better the deterrence.
Alarms are verified in order to reduce The addition of a strobe light and PEEL REGIONAL POLICE
the likelihood of the police responding external siren identifies the location Crime Prevention Services
of the alarm condition allowing 7750 Hurontario Street
to a false alarm. Only when the alarm
attention to be focused exactly Brampton, Ontario
condition is verified, as per your
where it needs to be. L6V 3W6
instructions, will the police be called.
For maximum effectiveness, the Tel. (905) 453-2121 ext. 4021
Alarm calls in the Region of Peel are
siren and strobe light should be Fax (905) 453-4428
NOT considered emergency calls and
will not be received on the 9-1-1 placed outside the home in a place
You may also want to examine our
Internet site at:
Home Security 5 – Residential Alarm Systems FACT SHEET
the house. To achieve maximum house. Under this “home setting,” policy. If a homeowner has 4 false
coverage the system might incorporate many points of access, that rely alarms during a one year period the
several types of sensors including: solely on motion sensors, may Peel Regional Police will no longer
remain unprotected. Any doors or attend the location in question for
• Motion windows that are not protected could alarm conditions. Steps are taken to
• Glass break be violated as if no alarm were in notify homeowners after the second
• Contacts place. Special consideration must be false alarm and homeowners are
• Active audio given during the planning stage in notified of any suspension of service
order to avoid a false sense of prior to it taking affect. See the Fact
Motion sensors should not be used as protection. Sheet on False Alarms for details.
the primary sensor type, but used in
combination with other sensor
technology. With limited sensors it is • Your Phone May Not Work
relatively easy for burglars to by-pass When your alarm is activated in a • Automatic Dialers
contacts. In this way, a burglar could monitored system, the system places The Peel Regional Police will not
access several rooms of the home a call to the alarm monitoring station respond to automatic dialer
without ever setting off the alarm. and tying up the phone in an generated calls.
emergency. THIS COULD
The type and level of protection you Any alarm condition should be
PREVENT YOU FROM CALLING
purchase should be decided upon after treated as a crime in progress and
9-1-1 FOR SEVERAL MINUTES
careful consideration of lifestyle and professionals should handle response.
in an emergency. This could also
the primary intended use of the alarm However, some alarm systems use
result in a lower priority police
(see “Home or Away”.) automatic dialers to contact a
response and possibly delay
appropriate emergency crews (fire, neighbour or friend during an alarm
• Activation Delay ambulance) as the nature of the condition. The Peel Regional Police
When an alarm keypad is installed emergency will not be known. It also do not recommend that private
inside an entranceway, the alarm may prevent you from cancelling an citizens respond to alarms.
must be equipped with an entrance alarm response. Citizens can contact the police
delay feature. This permits the personally for professional alarm
homeowner to enter and turn off the In a medical, fire or police
emergency, the fastest way to get response service. In the event that
alarm without setting it off. This your home is under suspension of
delay is usually about 30 - 45 help is by calling 9-1-1. Activating
a panic or medical alarm before police alarm response due to
seconds. In order to maximize the excessive false alarms you may wish
effectiveness of the alarm system placing a call to 9-1-1 may delay
emergency response. to contract a private alarm response
this delay should be eliminated. Talk company to service your needs.
to your alarm company
representative regarding options and • Holdup Alarm
Peel Regional Police do not CHOOSING AN ALARM
recommend the use of Holdup COMPANY
Alarms. If your system is equipped When choosing an alarm company,
HOME OR AWAY?
with a Holdup Alarm, you should, consumers should do their homework
• Peace Of Mind When You Are and shop around. Different
if possible, call 9-1-1 and identify
Home technologies and features can be
the emergency and your location.
Special consideration is needed if confusing. Look for an alarm company
Activating the Holdup Alarm before
you are using the alarm for with a good reputation and you feel
calling 911 may interfere with any
protection while in the home. Many comfortable with. Be cautious of any
attempt to access emergency
low cost systems use limited salesperson that asks for too much
services for up to a minute or more.
amounts of sensors or contacts on information or that makes you feel
This could also result in delayed
the perimeter and rely on motion uncomfortable. Consider the following
response by police. If you can get to
sensors in center hallways to trip the points:
a phone call 9 11.
alarm system. When at home with
the alarm activated, the motion • Don’t deal with companies that use
sensors are often by passed in order • False Alarm Policy fear tactics such as crime headlines
to prevent activation of the system The Peel Regional Police enforce an from newspapers or crime statistics
by occupants moving around the alarm industry accepted false alarm showing your area as bad.
Home Security 5 – Residential Alarm Systems FACT SHEET
• Check with friends or neighbours for • Lastly, when comparing prices measures you should take to secure
recommend-ations on reliable remember to compare detection your home against burglary as well.
companies. coverage and features. The cheapest
priced system could be all you need, PLEASE NOTE
• Find out how quickly the alarm or a waste of money. Not all alarms
company will install your system The Peel Regional Police WILL NOT
are created equal. recommend alarm companies by name
after purchase. Many sell them faster
then they can install them. or specific brands of equipment. For
When your alarm system is installed
more information see:
• How fast do they respond to requests change the activation code from the
for service after installation. factory setting. Do not divulge your • Fact Sheet on Crime Prevention
code to anyone who does not Through Environmental De-
• Ask about warranties and get at least absolutely need it. sign.
three quotes from companies you
feel good about. Mostly, discuss with your family what • Fact Sheet on the Peel Regional
you expect from an alarm system, and Police False Alarm Policy.
• Ask the alarm company what how it will be used, prior to purchasing
screening they do when they hire it. Make sure your expectations are • Residential Security Fact Sheet
their alarm installers and sales realistic. An alarm system will not keep series (# 1-7) for details.
people. Do they screen backgrounds an intruder out of your house. Consider
for criminal records etc. the cost of other physical security
he policy places the onus on the alarm owner 2. Shares the responsibility with the alarm industry
to ensure intrusion alarm systems are operated and alarm owners for reducing false alarms, by
efficiently and, that equipment performance providing notice of alarm activity and limiting
meets the criteria for which it was installed. response to all locations with a history of false
Before deciding to purchase an alarm system, you
should address the physical security of the site in 3. Allows for verbal and written communication with
question. Contact Crime Prevention Services for the Alarm Co-Ordinator by the alarm owner, alarm
information on this topic. company and alarm monitoring station.
4. Acknowledges the importance of alarm verification
POLICY in preventing false alarms from becoming false
Four false alarms are allowed in a one year period from dispatches (may include audio/visual technology,
the date of the first alarm. Police alarm response is telephoning the premises and keyholders, etc.)
suspended for one year and a reinstatement of police
service may be approved for alarm response until one NOTE: This Service does not respond to automatic
more false alarm is received. dialing systems activated by alarms or alarm requests
on 9-1-1, unless verified as an emergency call for
During a suspension period, all other police services service.
will be maintained by calling 905-453-3311, or 9-1-1
for an emergency.
Peel Regional Police A. Intrusion Alarm System
1. Recognizes the intent of intrusion alarm systems A device installed to detect criminal activity and
and provides the highest standard of service to includes interior and perimeter detection equipment
alarmed premises. and manually activated panic alarms.
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Home Security 5 – Residential Alarm Systems FACT SHEET
B. False Alarm IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE ALARM
• Where police attended and a response was not COMPANY TO ENSURE ALARM OWNERS
required. ARE AWARE OF:
• Where an alarm response cancellation request
was received after dispatch. • The Peel Regional Police Alarm Policy.
C. Cancelled Alarm • False alarm causes and the importance of
Where police response was cancelled prior to immediately seeking assistance in reducing
dispatch. false alarms.
• Their responsibility to provide current
D. Notice of Caution keyholder information to the alarm company.
Notification of two false alarms in a one year period
from the date of the first false alarm alerting the • A keyholder’s availability at the time of every
alarm owner to take remedial action in order to alarm.
avoid future loss of alarm response.
• Verification options and procedures.
E. Notice of Suspension • To understand how their alarm system works
Notification of four false alarms in a one year and what signals would be activated should a
period from the date of the first false alarm and break in occur.
subsequent suspension of police alarm response for
a one year period from the date of the fourth false • Upon the installation of an alarm system,
alarm. telephone the monitoring station and verify
that the information provided to the alarm
F. Reinstatement of Police Service company representative has been correctly
Reinstatement of police service may be applied for added to the monitoring station records.
in writing upon satisfactory resolution of all
problems and provides the alarm owner with police • Incorrect information can jeopardize the
service until one more false alarm is received. appropriate police response to your alarm.s