Solving False Alarms

By: Kara Tsuboi
By: Kara Tsuboi

When the city of Sparks announced its new "No Response" policy, the caveat was video or audio verification of a burglary.

New to Reno -- Sonitrol -- says it's one of the most effective alarm systems on the market: its audio sensors can quickly alert police of a break-in with a 95-percent accuracy rate.

False burglary alarms are one of the biggest drains on a police department: a waste of time, money and resources.

David Snyder, a former policeman and now a business development manager for Sonitrol, says his product will ensure *your safety and... Accurately relay burglary information to law enforcement.

"It's a better solution because it provides them with the security they need. It gives them their sense of security, their protection. And then, it still allows them to have that police response, but it stops the false alarms," says Snyder.

A business or home would have several audio sensors on the premise. But the system would not be activated until the owner turned it on.

"That's when the sensors are activated. During the day when they have the system off and they're doing their normal business, there is no capability for us to dial in and listen to what's going on or eavesdrop. We don't have that ability."

Snyder showed us how Sonitrol works in a demonstration...first by putting a sensor in an adjoining room. This receiver box is similar to what attendants would use in the dispatch center.

Small noises like a hand clap don't register as a threat on the system. But the rattling of a door, breaking glass and rummaging through glass would.

In the last four decades Sonitrol boasts that police have made 150-thousand suspect arrests off alerts from their system.

Pharmacist Bill Locke of Hale's Pharmacy knows something about break-ins.

"We had an alarm system, but we also got burglarized five times within five weeks during the summer. And the one we had just wasn't doing it," says Locke.

The Pharmacy has been a Sonitrol customer for the last few months, and so far, so good.

"At first, they were tweaking the bugs, so I was getting called, but it was for the little tiny things like somebody twinkling their keys outside. So we had to tweak it a little bit. But now, I know what if I get called, I better get down here because it's going to be trouble."

Snyder admits that Sonitrol is more expensive than other alarm systems. But he argues that a 5-percent false alarm rate...your safety and peace of mind...are well worth the cost.


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