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  • Patrol - Alarm response handling - log's

    Hi everyone, i'm wondering doe's anyone knows how alarm response works ? I know that there are similar posts but they are not exactly what i want ....
    As i know alarm company calls patrol company to dispatch mobile patrol to check out..

    Ok now, we got call... whats next they say you address? Client code or something ? So what next ? some kind of log needed ... at least i think that it surely needed ?If so can someone help me with it.. And then what is liability of the security company responding to the alarm ? If it is false do we need to call back to monitoring station and say that they would fix the problem or whatever.. and if theres a break in should we just stay out of it and call for cops?

    Any useful comments or more would be highly appreciated as i'm new in patrolling and alarm response,have some basic image,but thats it..

    Can anyone tell something about patrolling ? Of commercial residential estates ? Not the sites that you guard ...
    I mean service itself when theres no guard on site, i know theres guard1 system that uses chips for clocking.. (guard tour system) So 1.what is price of this system (as i know its one of the best) 2.Do i need to buy new system for each property patrolled or can i set every chip with different name and use on different sites is it possible? i.e. there are 10 chips and used on 10sites one is named b&b second plaza third hotel and reports would be printed on each chip separately or all together?
    3. What is your liability if something happens i.e. brake in ,when patrol wasn't there? But he did the patrols?

    I know it may look very ridiculous to ask this questions to some of you,but we never provided patrol and alarm response services,but i think it is the time to start.. So all help possible is highly appreciated , thx.

  • #2
    I know it may look very ridiculous to ask this questions to some of you,but we never provided patrol and alarm response services,but i think it is the time to start.. So all help possible is highly appreciated , thx.

    You are not ridiculous and any question asked in a sincere manner is not out of line. Somebody who has had such experiences such as you describe will provide the information you need.
    Enjoy the day,


    • #3
      Well, our patrol/alarm situation is a bit different than what you are planning on doing, but still might apply.

      we've got a patrol area and a couple posts that also monitor alarms...

      Patrol unit has their daily log of everything they do, times they checked what plus a text area for putting down time, what you did..

      If there's an alarm, we respond to it, and intervene/control situation/call law enforcement as necessary.

      If it's not a valid alarm or something we contact the elements that do maintanance to properly tune the systems..

      An RFID Tag system if employed works like this... you do your required check, and your guard has a scanner... after doing the required check at the site they scan the tag.. end of shift the scanner gets downloaded and cleaned, and you now have digital hard copy of all places that scanner (and that guard) went during their shift. Hand off the scanner as part of the post equipment for your relief.

      a RFID/Scanner system is good especially if you have entry level guards that require a higher level of supervision... because for them to get the scan they actually have to go there and they can't BS on their log.

      Or, you can have a supervisor go out and spotcheck on the guards which I believe is a better way to ensure they're actually doing the task... plus supervisors despise sitting behind their desk usually and would prefer to actually get in the field if possible.

      You might get a lazy guard who simply goes and scans the tags and moves on, and that's where you still need spotchecks.. but at least you can validly say the guard was THERE with that system.

      As far as something being broken into even after it was checked, ensuring your guards have the time necessary to be able to cover their watch area with variability of when they check things will help mitigate that, and when all else fails the people requesting the service did not pay for, request, or want 24/7 monitoring by a guard. Your legal responsibilities as far as I would think would simply be to uphold your end of the contract and provide the checks as required by the contract. If your guard performed those checks as required and the facility was still broken into, I don't think as long as you were in compliance with the contract that they would have grounds to stand on in court if they tried to press any civil charges against your company.

      Your mileage may vary, however
      Overmotivated and Underpaid... I'm a Security supervisors wet dream...


      • #4
        Some logs are sent electronically via a pager or text message or may be a case of an online message sent to your (ie. like an email). Patrol officer if separate attends, checks site, MAY contact the company by telephone giving code, ID and all clear. At the end of his shift he would have a patrol log (what he did and where he went) plus a tick and flick form of any incidents such as further patrols for an alarm response. That is worth $70 US to his company and depending his response he may get a bonus.

        Now with the move to speed things up, SOME companies who are inhouse are running touch screen PC (aka Tablets) to make things easier for a dyslexic guard but the most popular choice now is to subcontract or privately sell the patrol runs to another firm or individual. Again speed is of the essence as not too many clients want to find missing details of WHEN they attended and what they saw. Also a monitoring station needs to have good operators to ensure productivity is high.

        But I should add now the idea of a GPS monitor in the vehicle or on the person is more common as a welfare and monitoring device.
        Last edited by NRM_Oz; 03-07-2008, 06:19 AM.
        "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu


        • #5
          We used a two page piece of paper (carbon copy with out the carbon kind of thing) about 3" by 5" that was called a Patrol Activity Report. Now we left them at pretty much all of our patrol sites after we had made a round there or whatever. If it was an alarm response there was a place for us to check that on there. We left whatever needed to be passed on on that.

          We had a full dispatch center and they handled the calls from the alarm companies so YMMV

          After receiving the dispatch from the alarm company, dispatch would tell them that a unit was en route to investigate. Unit arrives, finds no sign of break in, realizes it's a false alarm due to weather, faulty system, etc. We reset it, get a good reset and call it into dispatch. Dispatch calls the alarm company back lets them know what we got and makes sure they aren't getting any other alarms.

          We arrive, find sign of a break-in in progress, officer makes the call whether to call and wait for PD or to make the arrest. Depends on the situation. Break-in already occurred and no suspect on site, call PD to investigate. All done through the dispatcher.

          Now keep in mind, we had 6 cars on the road each night plus a supervisor. ALMOST never would you be responding to an alarm by yourself. Plus we were armed. Things to take in to account on whether or not you investigate before you call PD. Remember your client is paying you to respond so they don't have to wait for PD.

          As for tour verification, patrol services is one of the few places I'm in favor of it. We used The Pipe. Each patrol account had a minimum of 1 button. You arrived on site and "wanded" in. Did what you had to do then "wanded" out. Was just a way to verify when and how long you were on site. Some accounts wanted to have multiple buttons to show that the officers were making rounds at the account etc. One thing we did was put them as close to the entrance to the property/building as possible. We provided patrol service during daylight hours and our clients could always call for an officer to respond to their account during the day if need be (ie employee termination, trespassing, irate customer, etc), this was an additional nominal charge after a set amount of time on site. This helped with billing.

          Personally, I loved working as a patrol officer, probably one of my favorite assignments working in this industry. Unfortunately no one in this area has started doing this, yet I know there is a need for it (in my time working in our office I received many a request for patrol service) Maybe one day
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          • #6
            To be very honest with you, I'd suggest you get some experience as an employee of a firm that does alarm response for awhile to get a better grounding in the basics.

            The questions you ask about dispatching, check-in and reporting systems can only be answered this way: There are as many different kinds of systems as you can imagine, and their costs are wildly different. It's really necessary to talk to different system providers to get good answers to the questions you ask about cost, "chip" configuration and all of that.

            The bigger issues are more likely to be entrepreneurial, logistic and managerial rather than technical. An alarm company will not simply entrust its response to a startup patrol company without knowing exactly what your expertise and capabilities are - they have too much at stake. They will want to know, for instance, how you would handle three alarms occurring simultaneously (as can easily happen with electrical or wind storms, for instance) on opposite sides of their coverage area, which could be very large. They will want to see your procedures for handling break-ins in progress, and whether you have the manpower to put someone on an open building for 3 hours until the owner can arrive to secure it. They may also require you to obtain training in alarm resets, etc.

            Based on the questions you ask, which to me suggest that your current state of knowledge is very rudimentary, I'd suggest some time in the driver's seat before you jump into providing a service you know very little about. Frankly, we already have too much of that kind of thing in our industry as it is, because it "looks easy".
            "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

            "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

            "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

            "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron


            • #7
              thx everyone

              Thx,everyone besides can somebody tell should i contact the alarm company for billing or should it be some basic payment to the client for each response,or monthly bill ? And yes theres enough manned force to dispatch to cover emergency area.

              And to sectrainer , we have enough manned force to cover the area and respond to multiple alarms at a time we have enough mobile patrols, at the moment patrols are made only on our own guards-supervision. I asked about mobile patrol service because we got multiple requests,on local small-medium businesses and all we could answer was we are working on it

              And NO i do not think its easy,i think it is way to complicated thats why i'm asking you guys,and seems i'm at the right place,you already helped me a lot


              • #8
                Billing is done to the client.

                Basically what happens is alarm companies have a list of who to call in case of an alarm such as:

                1) PD
                2) Maintenance
                3) Owner

                Basically they just replace PD with your company. You are basically acting as a keyholder or representative of the owner.

                We basically had 2 types of patrol accounts. Full service patrol accounts and alarm accounts.

                Alarm accounts we didn't patrol their property unless we were dispatched there on an alarm.

                Full service got the full deal, patrol plus alarm response.
                SecurityProfessional is Back up and running!


                • #9
                  Thank you for very valuable information, but still billing question is open. So billing should be monthly even if there where no alarms,and what is the basic price? (if it is not a secret)

                  Theres open market for patrols and alarm response in my area because only responders are - police and after 3 false alarms they do not respond anymore unless it is verified alarm.

                  There is another manned guarding company in the area but as i know they do not provide this service,and none of alarm company's have the right to respond to alarms as they do not hold appropriate license.


                  • #10
                    I didn't handle billing, but the idea i had was a base charge, if they went over a certain amount or alarms (make it more then the police max) then a nominal fee after that.

                    Or a sliding scale

                    1-5 alarms $XX.XX
                    6-10 alarms YY.YY

                    But yeah I would plan on billing monthy, MAYBE quarterly.
                    SecurityProfessional is Back up and running!


                    • #11
                      thank you a million

                      thank you,you where very helpful.


                      • #12
                        Some charge by the type of response required:

                        1. Respond, clear and reset: A flat fee per month (e.g., $25.00, $35.00) which includes up to x responses - for instance 3 alarm responses. These are typically "quick-clear" false alarm or owner-error situations. This fee is your "base rate".

                        2. $x per response beyond the number above. Make this high enough to encourage owners to train employees, etc. in setting and clearing the alarm, and/or to get technical problems with their alarm systems fixed.

                        3. "Nuisance alarm" premiums charged above, for instance, 10 alarms per month. This could approach $100 per alarm, for instance. Now you're really putting the heat on the property owner to fix whatever is causing this, but you're usually still not in the range that some cities are now charging for false alarms, which in one case I know of is $250.

                        4. Standby Time Charge: $xx/hr with 15-minute billing increments. These charges would be added for any incident that is not a simple "reset". In other words, anything involving a break-in, storm damage, etc. where the officer cannot simply reset and clear.

                        5. Patrol: Patrol visits, IMHO, should NOT be included in a standard response contract. The key to profitability is to identify and bill for different services. So, if you are going to provide patrol visits in addition to alarm response, contract and bill for patrol as a separate add-on service. The client can decide whether they want response-only or patrol-and-response service. Properties that have frequent problems with vandalism, transients, etc. should be distinguished from those that do not in terms of the services they need. In my area, two to three patrols per shift will cost $400 per month on up, depending.

                        Simple paper forms can be used to document alarm responses as well as patrol visits where problems are identified and handled. Routine no-problem patrol visits can simply be logged. Appropriate documentation can simply be included with the monthly billing. Of course, if you want to computerize the process, you have many options, including even some fairly simple Excel/Access database applications that you can create yourself or have done for you much less expensively than commercial applications. From there, you can move up to a variety of time-and-billing applications that are used in a variety of industries where services are dispatched - e.g., plumbing and building maintenance contractors, on-site computer repair services, etc. These usually allow you to define your own services, so they're pretty adaptable.

                        The great thing about computerizing, aside from making billing easier, is that if it's done right it will provide you with a lot of ways to analyze your data. This is essential to keep track of what's making money for you and what's not, to spot performance issues with individual officers (is someone taking longer to clear than average, etc.) and generally keep your finger on the pulse of the business. As a rule, a relational database such as Access, MySQL, etc. is the best choice for data entry and storage because this will provide you with the greatest flexibility for analysis later. All you have to do is create a new Excel (or Crystal Reports, etc.) spreadsheet (or modify an old one) for analysis and create the queries on your data, pumping the results in from the database, which is easily done.

                        If you store the original data in a spreadsheet like Excel directly, all you have then is a flat-file data structure that is difficult or impossible to enhance later. Excel should be used for data analysis and reporting, not data storage, except for maybe really simple applications like a home budget or something like that.

                        ...and if you don't like the cost of Microsoft Office, try OpenOffice, which is free and provides spreadsheet, database, presentation, word processing, etc.
                        Last edited by SecTrainer; 03-07-2008, 01:52 PM.
                        "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

                        "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

                        "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

                        "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron


                        • #13
                          Seconding the patrol and alarm response separation. They are paying for alarm response, not patrol services.

                          Alarm Response: They call, we come.
                          Patrol: We come to the property on our own, without being called, and do stuff.

                          Even if your patrol dispatch takes calls for service from client tenants/employees, it is not alarm response and should not be billed as such.

                          This is an opportunity to sell both services, both regular patrol and keyholder services.
                          Some Kind of Commando Leader

                          "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law


                          • #14
                            thank you SecTrainer and Corbier you are very helpful..

                            All the information over here is very helpful,i mean VERY helpful.
                            You are great guys.