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Professional Alarm Monitoring: What Is It, and Do You Need It?

Home Security

If you’ve been searching for the best home security system, you may have heard about professional monitoring more than once. And if you’re familiar with Guardian Protection, you probably already know we’re crazy about monitored home alarm systems. We really can’t stop shouting about it, and there are a lot of reasons why. Here’s what pro monitoring is, how it works, why we’re obsessed with it, and why you should be, too.

What is professional monitoring?

Professional monitoring refers to a 24/7 service in which a team of trained experts look out for signals from your security system indicating an alarm event or an emergency. This could be an intrusion or break-in, a fire, a medical emergency, or the presence of carbon monoxide. When you have professionally monitored home security, you don’t have to worry about alerting authorities in an emergency.

How does professional monitoring work?

Different monitoring service providers may have different processes in place. But generally, the experts keep an eye on your alarm signals from a secure location. This is referred to as a monitoring center or central station. If a signal indicating an alarm event is received, the team responds quickly by calling you or your emergency contacts to make sure everything is OK.

When needed, these professionals can contact your local fire and police departments to get you the assistance you need. Whether you’re home or in another country, if your alarm goes off, that monitoring center will know about it and quickly take action on your behalf.

As an example, watch this video full a simple break-down of how Guardian burglary monitoring works:

Pro monitoring or no monitoring

When shopping for a home security provider, the decision you make about who responds when your system is triggered might be the most important. Your choice comes down to two basic options: Professional monitoring or no monitoring.

Many big-box security devices you see online or in stores are not monitored. After you set up your equipment, the only person looking at your alarm status is you. You may have the option to download a mobile app that will send alerts to your smartphone if something goes wrong. But after that alert is sent, it’s on you to get help.

The problem? True home security is a full-time job — or more accurately, a 24/7/365 commitment. You can’t always be around to respond when there is an issue. What if you’re in the shower, or at work, or asleep? What if you’re on vacation when a fire starts, and your pet is home alone?

Even if you are available when an alarm goes off, would you know what to do? The more you dissect all the variables and possible outcomes, the dicier it becomes.

While it’s helpful to get an alert on your smartphone that your house is on fire, it’s even better to get a phone call that a trained team has already notified the fire department that help is needed.

Bonus: If you have a monitored home security system, you may qualify for an insurance discount! Talk to your insurance agent to find out for sure.

Shopping for home security? Our essential guide can help!

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Benefits of professionally monitored security

Powered by real people.

The security business is uniquely human. Yes, technology is important, but at the end of the day, what we do is all about the people we help protect.

No one wants to be alone when they’re afraid or feeling unsafe. Whether that protection involves burglary, fire, or a medical emergency, it’s our responsibility to be there for people when they need us. And that doesn’t just mean being responsive; that means truly showing people we care, that they’re not alone, and that they deserve to be safe. This is why our protection specialists stay on the phone with you until help arrives.

Always on, 24/7/365.

Your priority in an emergency is to look out for yourself and the people you love. Why not leave the monitoring to the pros and stay focused on what matters most? With a professionally monitored home security system, the security company will be alerted when something is up and take the proper steps to get help on your behalf.

Plus, you have a busy life. You can’t be everywhere at once, and your safety shouldn’t depend on whether or not you felt your phone vibrate during a work meeting.

Guardian’s monitoring center doesn’t take days off and someone is always ready to help, even if you’re away from home. No more worrying about missed smartphone notifications or leaving your home unattended while on vacation.

Connected to your emergency contacts.

Remember going to the school nurse with a fever or an upset stomach? The moment they had your mom or dad on the phone, you probably felt a wave of relief and comfort. Someone who cares is on the way!

We know you want the people you trust close to you if something goes wrong, and sometimes, you just need backup. This is one reason why, when you choose Guardian Protection as your smart home security provider, you are encouraged to provide a list of emergency contacts. These are the people Guardian will contact for you in an emergency. They should be individuals you trust with access to your home, who understand how to use your alarm system and have a code.

Highly trained monitoring team.

The quality of a monitoring center can impact the outcome of an emergency. The team you trust to help protect your world needs to be highly trained, educated, and running like a well-oiled machine. These are the standards you should expect from your security company’s monitoring operations.

Guardian’s monitoring center protection specialists are rigorously trained and take great pride in their work. Many alarm companies outsource this service to a third party, but Guardian does it all in-house, and our operations are 100% percent U.S.-based. 

Monitored life safety devices.

An unmonitored or even self-monitored home is especially vulnerable to fires. An entire house can be engulfed in flames in just five minutes!

While it’s helpful to get an alert on your smartphone that your house is on fire, it’s even better to get a phone call that a trained team has already notified the fire department that help is needed. Every second counts, and a monitoring center can make the most of those critical moments.

Smoke detectors, heat sensors, and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors installed by Guardian Protection are monitored 24/7. Even if you’re away from home at the time, we’re jumping into action if a fire or CO is detected in your monitored home.

Professional monitoring is a direct and intelligent line to law enforcement.

A professionally monitored home security company will communicate with law enforcement and first responders on your behalf when needed. This makes having successful working relationships with local authorities essential.

Our people are familiar with the different policies and procedures within the communities they serve, and work tirelessly to improve our response time and put programs in place to reduce accidental alarms.

In fact, we recently received the Police Dispatch Quality (PDQ) Award from the Security Industry Alarm Coalition! Only one U.S. alarm company receives this award each year, and the honor demonstrates our efforts to reduce false alarm dispatches by working closely with law enforcement, training our team members, educating customers, and implementing high-quality alarm reduction programs.

Checklist: Questions to ask a security provider about pro monitoring

Remember, not all security providers have the same standard of monitoring. Some companies outsource the work, use overseas monitoring operations, or operate monitoring centers that aren’t properly certified. The quality of a monitoring center can impact the outcome of an emergency, so the team you trust to help protect your world needs to be highly trained, educated, and running like a well-oiled machine.

To find the companies who are doing it right, make sure you’re asking the right questions:

  • Do they offer professional monitoring for the products they sell, or is it all on you?
  • Do they own and operate their monitoring operations, or are they outsourced to a third party?
  • Are the operations U.S.-based?
  • What kind of training do they require for employees?
  • What are their credentials and certifications? Make sure their monitoring centers are UL-certified and Five Diamond-accredited, meeting the highest industry standards.
  • Do they have just one station, or do they have back-up?

Download this checklist >

Get better protection with 24/7 professional monitoring

Whether you’re a current Guardian customer or are learning about professional monitoring for the first time, we’re here to answer any questions you have. Call us at 1.800.PROTECT (1.800.776.8328) or learn more about professionally monitored smart home security here.

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