Member FAQs

How Can I Maximize My FARA Membership?

  • Maximize your FARA membership by becoming involved.  Joining a committee is the best way of staying current in the fast paced alarm industry while at the same time creating an invaluable business support network.  The commitment is minimal however the rewards are exponential.
  • Maximize your FARA membership by attending the annual symposium.  Gain in depth knowledge while building relationships in the industry; a totally priceless experience.
  • Maximize your FARA membership by utilizing the extensive collection of FARA publications.  Reduce false alarms using the wealth of information that has already been written for you by  FARA members.
What Is A False Alarm?
For a Burglar Alarm -  According to the FARA Model Burglar Alarm Ordinance, a “False Alarm means an Alarm Dispatch Request to a law enforcement agency, when the responding law enforcement officer finds no evidence of a criminal offense or attempted criminal offense after having completed a timely investigation of the Alarm Site.”

For a Fire Alarm -  According to the FARA Model Fire Alarm Ordinance, a “False Fire Alarm means the activation of any Fire Alarm System which results in a response by the fire department and which is caused by the negligence or intentional misuse of the Fire Alarm System by the Owner, its employees, agents or any other activation of a Fire Alarm System not caused by heat, smoke or fire, exclusive of a Nuisance Fire Alarm.”

How Can False Alarms Be Avoided?

False alarms can be avoided with proper use, design and installation of alarm systems. The steps that you can take vary slightly depending on where the system is installed and your role. Users and alarm companies all have a role in preventing false alarms. For more information visit our Alarm User Information page.

Does FARA Have a Position on Specific Ordinances?

 The most successful alarm management programs have combined several strategies to form a local program. Each municipality must select the proper combination of strategies to allow for the desired impact. While the most common strategies are listed in our False Alarm Reduction Strategies White Paper, there may be other successful methods that are not as widely known. Carefully research all options and decide which method(s) best suits the needs of your community, legislators and public safety.

For more information visit our Member Publications page.

What is Verified Response?

 The verified response method requires an independent eyewitness verification that a criminal act either is occurring or has occurred prior to requesting law enforcement dispatch. This method usually applies only to burglar alarms and exempts human activated alarms such as robbery, duress and panic from the verification process.

FARA has produced a Position Paper on Verified Response. It is also described in the False Alarm Reduction Strategies White Paper. Visit our Member Publications page to download the Position Paper and or the White Paper.

Where Can I Learn About Alarm Equipment?

 FARA has produced a Quick Reference for Alarm Equipment guide with a comprehensive outline of different types of alarm equipment components and their propensity for false alarms. It deals with specific components of control panels, connectivity, power sources, space protection, door and window contacts, glass contacts, notification devices, communication devices, and keypad features. Visit our Member Publications page to download the guide.

How Can I Create An Alarm User Awareness School?
 Alarm user awareness schools can provide your municipality with an excellent platform to educate alarm users about the severity of the false alarm problem, the costs and complacency issues it raises for law enforcement, and tips on how to avoid future false alarms. Click here for information on a guide that FARA has produced to help you get started.

What Is A Police Dispatch Rate?

“Police Dispatch Rate” means the average number of False Alarm Dispatches per Alarm Site during a specified period of time as determined by dividing the Total False Alarm Dispatches by the Total Alarm Sites. This is also known as an alarm factor. Click here for information on a guide that FARA has produced to help you determine your rate.

How Do I Choose the Right Alarm Tracking Software?

 Choosing the software that will handle the tracking, billing, report functions, and CAD interface for your false alarm reduction program may be the single most important decision you make in terms of the day-to-day operation of your overall program.

FARA has produced several items to help you.

Click here for information on a guide that details questions you should ask and a guide that summarizes the major components of the software.

How Can I Become Certified?

 The False Alarm Reduction Association has developed a Professional Certification Program, which provides a mechanism for public safety false alarm reduction professionals to demonstrate that they have attained a certain level of proficiency and expertise in the false alarm reduction arena.

This one-of-a-kind Professional Certification requires the successful completion of a competency exam, which is given under strict rules and guidelines.

Please click here to learn more about this exciting new program, its objectives, rules and even some sample exam questions.

How Can I Volunteer for a Committee?

 As a member of FARA you are encouraged to join one or more committees. Because a large portion of the work is conducted via e-mail and conference calls, travel is not required to be on a committee.

Click here for more information on the committees and information on how to join.

What Is Verification?
 An alarm company should be encouraged or required (via the ordinance) to attempt to verify each alarm signal prior to requesting law enforcement dispatch to determine if there is a real need for response. Several methods exist to perform verification, including; Telephone Verification, Two Way Voice and Video Verification.

For More Information visit our Member Publications page  to download our False Alarm Reduction Strategies White Paper.

What Is Enhanced Telephonic Verification?

 The alarm company calls the alarm site immediately after the alarm is received but before law enforcement dispatch is requested. If the user answers and indicates an error, and verifies his/her identity, no dispatch is requested. If the user is not reached on the first call, a second call is made to another responsible party or owner at a different telephone number when the first call does not succeed.

For More Information visit our Member Publications page  to download our False Alarm Reduction Strategies White Paper.

What is Restricted Response?

 Some ordinances provide for non-response after a certain specified number of false alarms within a given period of time, for failure to obtain a permit or registration, failure to remit false alarm response fees/fines, or for other violations of the ordinance.

For More Information visit our Member Publications page to download our False Alarm Reduction Strategies White Paper.

What is Broadcast and File?

 The 9-1-1 operators announce the alarm address over the police radio. If an officer is not currently responding to or on site with another call and is in the immediate vicinity, he or she has the option of responding to the alarm signal. No definite assignment is given to the officer regarding the alarm call and the 9-1-1 operator files the call away after the original broadcast.

For More Information visit our Member Publications page to download our False Alarm Reduction Strategies White Paper.

What Is A Soak Period?

 A soak period is a specific period of time after an alarm system has been installed where the alarm monitoring company does not request police dispatch when an alarm signal is received.

For More Information visit our Member Publications page to download our False Alarm Reduction Strategies White Paper.

Does Publishing Alarm Business Dispatch Rates Reduce False Alarms?

 Several jurisdictions credit lower false dispatch requests to the publishing of each compnany’s dispatch rate. A dispatch rate is the number of requests for dispatch made by an alarm company divided by its registered users in a given jurisdiction.

For More Information visit our Member Publications page  to download our False Alarm Reduction Strategies White Paper.

What is Cancellation?

 An alarm company is given an opportunity or is required (via an ordinance) to cancel a dispatch when it is determined that the alarm activation is a false alarm.

For More Information visit our Member Publications page to download our False Alarm Reduction Strategies White Paper.

What is Alarm Company Collection?

 This option requires the alarm monitoring company to collect any false alarm fees/fines that are imposed.

For More Information visit our Member Publications page to download our False Alarm Reduction Strategies White Paper.

Is Outsourcing An Option?

 The local municipality or law enforcement agency contracts with a private business entity to track and bill for false alarms and/or permit/registration. The local law enforcement officers still respond to the alarm signal activation. Some jurisdictions have been very successful at reducing false alarms and containing costs by outsourcing the administration of their false alarm reduction programs.

For More Information visit our Member Publications page to download our False Alarm Reduction Strategies White Paper.

Is Alarm Business Licensing Beneficial?

 Both the National Electronic Security Alliance (NESA) and the False Alarm Reduction Association recognize the importance of alarm business licensing. Licensing affords municipalities the opportunity to perform criminal history background checks, require minimum training of all technicians, and to set bonding requirements, among other things. NESA supports licensing of the alarm industry at the state level that is developed with the support of state alarm industry associations, while FARA believes that licensing is imperative at whatever level is most appropriate for your jurisdiction (state or local level).

For More Information visit our Member Publications page to download our False Alarm Reduction Strategies White Paper.

How Can Installation/Manufacturing Standards be Implemented?

 Many jurisdictions have had success by mandating periodic inspection and/or upgrade of alarm systems to meet certain minimum installation standards.

For More Information visit our Member Publications page to download our False Alarm Reduction Strategies White Paper.

What Role Does Education Play in False Alarm Reduction?

 A critical component of any false alarm reduction program is education of alarm users, alarm companies and monitoring services, encouraging each to accept their responsibility for proper system use and installation and the reduction of false alarms.

For More Information visit our Member Publications page to download our False Alarm Reduction Strategies White Paper.

How Do I Determine The Goals For My Reduction Program?

When pressed for an immediate solution to the alarm management issue, the temptation may be to go for expediency. However, experience has shown that it pays to spend some time identifying the long term goals for an alarm reduction management program. Common goals include:

  • Significant reduction of the impact on patrol resources.
  • Improving the morale and safety of the patrol officer.
  • Cost recovery.
  • Minimize the impact on responsible users.
  • Minimizing the administrative burden on the locality and department.
  • Changing the behavior of the alarm company and its personnel.
  • Changing the behavior of the alarm user.
  • Continuing the effectiveness of responsibly used alarm systems.

For More Information visit our Member Publications page to download our False Alarm Reduction Strategies White Paper.