By: Mark Reimer, VP, Product Engineering
When I first started working for ADT back in the early 2000s I purchased ADT systems for my family, including my 93-year-old grandma who was living alone in the same house she has lived in for the past 50 years. One afternoon I received a call from an ADT monitoring agent letting me know that my grandma had fallen into a sinkhole while watering her garden. The ADT agent went on to say that they have notified the fire department who were already on their way to her home, her next door neighbor, and her adult children--my mom and uncle who lived a few hours away. Not long after, I received another call letting me know that she was rescued and was in great shape—other than being a bit shaken up from the whole experience. To this day, I am so grateful for the first responders who arrived so quickly, the ADT monitoring agent, the public safety operator working in the emergency communications center (ECC), and all of the back-office systems and processes that went into making a speedy rescue.
Fast forward to today, the public safety systems and processes in many states still operate as they did when my grandma was rescued, which means they haven’t at all kept up with newer technology available to make them more efficient. To make matters worse, the false alarm rate for the alarm industry remains high—over 99 percent according to one Boulder, Colo., city official. This places a huge strain on first responders and ECCs and leads to local jurisdictions passing their own regulations to curb false alarms and recoup their costs from alarm customers or alarm companies.
I joined the board of the Colorado Burglar and Fire Alarm Association to partner with the public safety sector in Colorado to develop fair standards that enhance public safety and to help strengthen the relationship between first responders and alarm companies. The association does this by promoting training and education to alarm companies to ensure security systems are installed according to proven standards and the equipment meets nationally recognized standards for reducing false alarms. We work closely with local jurisdictions and advocate the use of the model alarm ordinance for alarm management and false alarm reduction and all of the leading practices it contains by law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. In addition, we organize special events that recognize law enforcement and fire protection employees and their families. I’m proud to represent the alarm industry in my home state of Colorado because it helps ADT further our mission of helping saving lives.