Sonitrol Security

Sonitrol Commercial Security Blog ... by Joe Wilson



Business Security: Stop Wasting Time, Money and Resources on False Alarms

Posted by Joe Wilson

Jan 17, 2020 11:00:00 AM

450 – that is the number of false alarms in Squamish, British Columbia in 2018 alone. In fact, 94 to 98 percent of all alarm activations are false and, with each of these false alarms, resources are wasted and avoidable pressure is put on the responding authorities whose time could have been better spent on real crimes and community outreach.

Had the alarm been verified before the necessary teams were dispatched, this wasted time and money would have been saved.

That's why an increasing number of jurisdictions are moving towards false alarm penalties as a means of incentivizing business owners to upgrade their security systems.

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Topics: Prevent False Alarms

Why You Need A Commercial Security System With A Low False Alarm Rate

Posted by Joe Wilson

Jun 30, 2017 1:00:00 PM

Nobody expects to have their business fall victim to robbery, vandalism, arson or any number of crimes but it happens.

While you can’t stop the risk completely you can reduce it, and if it does happen, there is a way to feel confident that the necessary response teams will be there quickly.

Sonitrol’s unique verified audio and video CCTV security systems enable our operators to hear and see what is happening at your place of business before the criminals gain entry! This allows us to verify the source of the alarm in real-time, and if it is the result of criminal activity, the local authorities are notified swiftly.

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Topics: CCTV, Police Response Times, CCTV Video Surveillance, Prevent False Alarms

Sonitrol Reaches Record Number Of Criminal Apprehensions

Posted by Joe Wilson

Jan 5, 2017 10:15:41 AM

Sonitrol’s verified alarm detection techniques coupled with law enforcement partnerships result in more than 175,000 criminal apprehension to date 

Sonitrol, the leader in verified electronic security, provides customers throughout the United States and Canada with customized, state-of-the-art security solutions for intrusion alarms, access control, video surveillance and fire detection, has reached a new milestone by assisting with 175,000 documented criminal apprehensions since 1977, when the company first began recording apprehension statistics.  

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Topics: Prevent False Alarms, Criminal Apprehension

Why Conventional Security Systems Don’t Work

Posted by Joe Wilson

Nov 3, 2016 7:45:09 AM

Conventional security systems have been used in the work place for many decades, and they still remain popular for many businesses today.  However, conventional security systems have security problems that you should be aware of. They are not effective because they are easily beaten and do not receive a Police Response. They may use motion detectors and door contacts but they cause nothing but false alarms and user headaches. This is not an alarm system that a criminal would be afraid of, nor is it a deterrent.

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Topics: Verified Alarms, Police Response Times, Prevent False Alarms

California Police Chiefs Association Defines & Prioritizes Verified Alarms

Posted by Joe Wilson

Jul 6, 2016 2:00:00 PM

More and more, police departments in municipalities across North America are redefining what constitutes a verified alarm, and prioritizing these verified alarms in order to avoid wasting Police resources and time.

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Topics: Police Response to Sonitrol, Verified Security Alarms, Prevent False Alarms

The Best Way to Reduce False Alarms

Posted by Joe Wilson

Jun 17, 2016 2:00:00 PM

Police departments in various municipalities across Canada want to work better and smarter. This means that they want to work on important issues that impact a community, and not wasting valuable Police time and resources responding to non-critical issues such as false alarms. 

A staggering 98% of alarms that go off end up being false alarms. Many of these activations are from conventional motion sensors, and door and window contact alarms. Because of this, many police departments are no longer responding to  these unverified alarms.

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Topics: Verified Security Alarms, Prevent False Alarms

How Verified Alarm Systems Stop False Alarms

Posted by Joe Wilson

Dec 4, 2015 10:00:00 AM

False alarms happen all the time with conventional alarm systems and as a business owner, they leave you with a difficult decision to make.  

Do you dispatch police immediately and possibly incur a false alarm fee or do you check on your business first to make sure it's a real threat and by the time you get there it's already to late.  A staggering 94% of all alarm activations are false.

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Topics: CCTV Video Surveillance, Monitored Audio Alarms, Prevent False Alarms

Police Respond to Sonitrol Verified Alarms In Just 3.5 Minutes

Posted by Joe Wilson

Nov 9, 2015 1:16:00 PM

The purpose of any security system is two-fold; deter criminals from trying to break-in (because they're afraid of being caught), and if they do break-in, catch them before they cause damage and steal your property. In my previous two blog posts I've written about the fact that conventional alarms don't catch criminals, and they aren't much of a deterrent. Now let's look at verified alarms - that catch criminals in the act of committing a crime.

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Topics: CCTV Video Surveillance, Police Response to Sonitrol, Verified Security Alarms, Prevent False Alarms

Will The New Verified Response Laws Make Your Old Security Alarm Obsolete?

Posted by Joe Wilson

Oct 23, 2015 2:21:37 PM

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Topics: Police Response to Sonitrol, Verified Security Alarms, Prevent False Alarms

Toronto Police Implement Verified Alarm Policy Starting January 2016

Posted by Joe Wilson

Oct 9, 2015 9:21:37 AM

As I've been saying for a long time ... Police Forces across North America are implementing a verified-only, alarm response policies.  Canada’s largest city has just become a verified-only alarm jurisdiction.   


Our moto holds true “if it is not verified its simply guessing”


The Toronto Police Service has just completed a review of response to burglar alarm events. 


"It has been found that alarm activation is not necessarily an indicator of criminal activity." 


On average, the Toronto Police Service has responded to over 23,000 alarm events per year and the review has shown that 98% of these calls for service are identified as false – meaning a police response was not required.


This just happens to be the false alarm number I've been stating for many years, so our 98% false alarm rate is validated again by another Police department.


Why did the Toronto Police conduct this study?

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Topics: Police Response to Sonitrol, Verified Security Alarms, Prevent False Alarms

What's The Difference Between A Sonitrol Verified Alarm And The 300+ Other Conventional Alarm Companies in Western Canada?

Posted by Joe Wilson

Oct 6, 2015 9:17:51 AM


The easiest way for me to highlight the difference between a Sonitrol Verified alarm system and one of the hundreds of conventional burglar alarm companies out there in Western Canada is to walk you through a typical scenario around what happens when an alarm goes off in your business.


Let's say you have a conventional alarm installed for your business. It's nothing special but you think you have a system that can adequately protect your business.


This is what most likely happens.


It's 2:00 am on Friday night and couple of burglars break into your business. It wasn't difficult for them to get in using just a crowbar at the door, or a rock through the window.


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Topics: Verified Security Alarms, Prevent False Alarms

Why Do I Keep Getting False Alarms?

Posted by Joe Wilson

Sep 4, 2015 9:00:00 AM

Regular false alarms can cost you.  At minimum, you’ll be charged a fine starting at $50 and escalating to $300 to help your local Police department recover their costs. … but if you have a poor history with 3 or more false alarms, Police response will be canceled for one year or you’ll be faced with a significant fine to be re-instated with proof of how you have eliminated the false alarm problem. Not to mention that most insurance companies will eliminate coverage if Police do not respond to an unverified alarm. A year is a long time to be vulnerable to criminals with no Police response and no insurance coverage.

You have to make sure when you have an alarm go off the Police will respond.  If you have a high false alarm history you will lack credibility from those repeated false alarm incidents. 

Why do you keep getting false alarms?

In the USA Police respond to more than 36 million burglar alarm activations a year, at a cost over $1.8 billion. Most of these alarm activations are from conventional alarms and a staggering number are false alarms. 

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Topics: Prevent False Alarms

Eliminate False Alarms They Waste Valuable Police Resources

Posted by Joe Wilson

Aug 4, 2015 12:07:00 PM


It’s one of the biggest issues facing local municipalities and provincial governments across Canada – the high cost of providing public safety and security through policing.  Policing, whether managed through local forces or outsourced to larger organizations like the RCMP, is expensive and is a big part of public budgets everywhere.


This is happening at a time when public security is receiving much more attention; cyber crime, international crime rings, gang crime, smuggling, fraud networks, and terrorism. Police forces are put in the unenviable position of needing to do more work with less funding.


The largest draws on police time is answering false alarms. It’s estimated that alarms for break-ins and theft can make up 20% of calls to police services. And here’s the real problem - over 97% of the alarm calls to police are false alarms …  costing major cities over $12 million per year ... what a waste!


Police units don’t have the time to respond to false alarms. It’s clearly a waste of vital resources and taxpayers dollars.


If all false alarms could be eliminated tomorrow, the police would gain time to work on real issues that are impacting your community. Could the police use a 20% increase in manpower - you bet they could!


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Topics: CCTV Video Surveillance, SonaVision Online Monitoring, Police Response to Sonitrol, Verified Security Alarms, Prevent False Alarms

How to Prevent Employee Triggered False Alarms

Posted by Joe Wilson

Jul 24, 2015 8:00:00 AM

You’ve just returned home from a long day at the office only to receive a phone call from your security company alerting you that your alarm system has been activated.  A thousand questions go through your mind – is a burglar attempting to steal or vandalize your property? Are your employees safe? Will the police respond quickly? Maybe you’re wondering if this was simply another false alarm.

Unfortunately, false alarms are common occurrences for business owners and operators who do not use a verified security solution.  And one of the most common false alarm triggers is human error, including employee-triggered false alarms.  

Employees may trigger your alarm simply by forgetting to de-activate your alarm system or by entering an incorrect code.  Or at the end of a shift, an employee may not lock or close the door properly, triggering sensors and detectors that activate your alarm system.  User triggered false alarms account for more than 80% of false alarms.

FACT: According to the RCMP, police departments across Canada respond daily to burglar intrusion alarms. However, more than 98% of the alarms the Police attend are false. 

False alarms can be prevented by implementing some simple preventative measures including managed access control and verified audio/video.

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Topics: Verified Security Alarms, Building Access Control, Prevent False Alarms

The Biggest Mistakes Businesses Make When Choosing Security Systems

Posted by Joe Wilson

Dec 12, 2014 6:45:00 AM


Selecting a security system for your business is one of the most important decisions you will make. The problem is that it is often one of the last considerations made when opening a new location or renovating.

Click here to watch "Mistakes Businesses Make in Handling Security."


Here are some common myths that may affect your security decision.

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Topics: CCTV Video Surveillance, Verified Security Alarms, Prevent False Alarms

Police Department False Alarm Policies Across Western Canada

Posted by Joe Wilson

Aug 31, 2014 11:48:00 AM


According to the RCMP, police departments across Canada respond daily to burglar intrusion alarms. However, more than 98% of the alarms the Police attend are false. 


Therefore responding to false burglar alarms isn't always good, as they can delay Police officers from more important Police work and community needs, and this distraction increases the concern for Police officer safety and costs millions of dollars of wasted public money annually. 


City Police departments across Western Canada have now implemented False Alarm Policies that can be anything from a suspension of Police services to a premise with a false alarm history, to the need for burglar alarm licences - which may not be renewed if there is a repeat false alarm problem. Your local Police department can also fine you $100 - $500 to recover their costs. 

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Topics: CCTV Video Surveillance, Police Response to Sonitrol, Verified Security Alarms, Prevent False Alarms

Tips About False Alarms From The Edmonton Police

Posted by Joe Wilson

Aug 26, 2014 8:31:00 AM

The Edmonton Police Service has a large library of crime prevention tips available at


Here's one particular resource I'd like to share with all my blog readers that I think is particularly useful and it's a big issue with many Western Canada communities.  How to reduce false alarms and how to follow the new alarm bylaws and permit regulations that are being implemented everywhere.

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Topics: Security Tips, Police Response to Sonitrol, Prevent False Alarms

Sonitrol’s Security System Assists Police in Apprehension Every 111 Minutes

Posted by David Terry

May 20, 2014 10:02:11 AM


"Since 1977, Sonitrol Has Assisted Law Enforcement in Over 170,000 Apprehensions"

Sonitrol, the security industry’s leader in audio verification technology, has reached a milestone by assisting in its 170,000th documented apprehension since 1977, when the company began documenting apprehension statistics.


Sonitrol’s unprecedented record of success in assisting law enforcement in the apprehension of intruders is attributed to the nearly 50 years of dedication and advancement of the company’s unique, audio intrusion detection technology.


Sonitrol provides 100% wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling protection — monitored and verified in real-time — allowing for a quicker response by law enforcement, and resulting in more apprehensions of potentially criminal trespassers then traditional non-verified alarm security systems.


170,000 Criminal Apprehensions

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Topics: Verified Security Alarms, Prevent False Alarms

Don't Buy Conventional Alarms That Have A 98% False Alarm Rate

Posted by Joe Wilson

Apr 17, 2014 9:32:06 AM


Conventional alarms have a 98% false alarm rate, so why would anyone buy a conventional security system with a motion sensor and a door contact alarm to protect their business?  The Police won't even respond!

To combat the high volume of unnecessary false alarms created by conventional alarm systems and in an effort to raise awareness of the wasted law enforcement resources, many cities and provinces across Canada have been implementing two different types of false alarm prevention programs:

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Topics: CCTV Video Surveillance, Verified Security Alarms, Prevent False Alarms

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Joe Wilson, Owner of Sonitrol Western Canada

We provide our customers with the best commercial security solutions and quality service backed by our unique Guarantee and Commitment to Service. It's something unverified conventional alarm companies simply cannot guarantee!

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