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Central Monitoring Stations For Home Security

In the realm of home security, one of the key considerations is how your security system is monitored. Central monitoring stations and remote monitoring are two common approaches, each with its own set of advantages and drawbacks. In this blog we’re going to delve into what central monitoring entails, discuss the pros and cons of third-party monitoring, and finally explore the alternative of remote monitoring.


What is a Central Monitoring Station?


In a nutshell, central monitoring involves a dedicated facility that receives signals from security systems installed in homes or businesses. These signals typically include alerts for burglary, fire, or other emergencies. The central monitoring station is staffed with trained professionals who are there to respond to these alerts by contacting the appropriate authorities, such as the police or fire department, on behalf of the homeowner or business owner.


How Does Central Station Monitoring Work?

Central station monitoring operates on a foundation of high-tech infrastructure and human expertise. When an alarm signal is received, it is the role of the monitoring professionals to immediately assess the situation. They may review live video feeds, verify the emergency, and act according to predefined protocols. Here’s how the process unfolds:

Alarm Activation: The alarm system at your property detects a potential issue and sends a signal to the central station.

Signal Verification: Monitoring staff receive the alert and swiftly verify the legitimacy of the alarm to prevent false dispatches.

Emergency Response: If a real threat is confirmed, the central station contacts the necessary authorities for an emergency alarm response.

Follow-Up: You are informed about the situation.

Why Do Homeowners Often Opt For Central Monitoring Systems?

Many national and local home security companies sell alarm systems that are hooked up to central monitoring stations and offer third-party monitored alarms to their customers. Here are some of the benefits they claim to offer:

●      Professional Response: Central monitoring stations provide round-the-clock monitoring by trained professionals who can quickly respond to any alerts or emergencies.

●      Immediate Assistance: In the event of a security breach, a centrally monitored system can automatically alert authorities, ensuring a swift response.

●      Peace of Mind: Knowing that your home is being monitored by a professional team can offer peace of mind, especially when you're away from home.

●      Insurance Benefits: Some insurance companies offer discounts on premiums for homes with centrally monitored security systems, potentially saving homeowners money in the long run.

●      Integration with Other Services: Central monitoring systems can sometimes be integrated with other home automation services, allowing for seamless control and management of your home security.

●      Backup Power and Redundancy: Central monitoring stations typically have backup power systems and redundancies in place to ensure continuous monitoring, even during power outages or technical failures.


Something to consider…

While the idea of central monitoring systems may sound reassuring, it's essential to consider the potential drawbacks. By relying on a third party to monitor their home security, homeowners relinquish a degree of control over their own safety. While professional monitoring teams can respond swiftly to alerts, they may not have the same sense of urgency as homeowners themselves. In many cases, alarms may be reset remotely, and authorities are only contacted after multiple false alarms, potentially delaying response times in genuine emergencies. This lack of direct control over the security of their home is a significant consideration for homeowners evaluating their options.


Potential Drawbacks of Centrally Monitored Alarm Systems

●      Dependence on Third Party: Homeowners rely on a third-party monitoring service to respond to security alerts, which means they are not directly in control of their home security.

●      False Alarms: Central monitoring systems may generate false alarms due to system malfunctions, user error, or environmental factors, which can lead to unnecessary dispatches and fines.

●      High Monthly Fees: Central monitoring services require monthly subscription fees which are often much higher than remote monitored apps and services, adding to the overall cost of home security.

●      Limited Response: While monitoring teams can respond to alerts, their actions may be limited to contacting the homeowner or designated contacts rather than taking immediate action.

●      Potential for Communication Failure: Communication issues between the alarm system and the central monitoring station can result in delays or failures in alerting authorities during emergencies.

●      Privacy Concerns: Homeowners may have concerns about the privacy and security of their personal information, as it is shared with a third-party monitoring service.

●      Vulnerability to Outages: Central monitoring systems may be vulnerable to power outages, internet disruptions, or system failures, compromising the effectiveness of the security system.


 Exploring Remote Monitoring as an Alternative


Remote monitoring offers a distinct alternative to central/ third-party monitoring. With remote monitored systems, homeowners have direct control over monitoring their security systems through dedicated apps or platforms provided by their security service provider.



Benefits of Remote/ Self Monitoring:


1.     Quick Response & INSTANT notification: With a remote monitored system, all you need is an app on your mobile and you can take immediate action in case of a security breach, reducing potential damages or losses. This quick response capability enables homeowners to address security incidents promptly, minimising the impact of threats and ensuring the safety of their property and loved ones.


 2.     Customisation: Customise your security settings and notifications based on your preferences and specific security needs. This customisation feature allows homeowners to tailor their security system to suit their unique requirements, enhancing its effectiveness and responsiveness to potential threats.


3.     Cost-Effective: Eliminate the need for expensive third-party monitoring fees. Remote monitoring services, like the one we offer at Midland Alarm Services are often a fraction of the price, saving money over time while maintaining robust security.


4.     Remote Control: Arm, disarm, or adjust security settings remotely, provide remote and temporary access to cleaners/ workmen when needed, or keep an eye on when older children have arrived safely at home by creating separate user codes - all of these things adding convenience and flexibility to your system. This remote control capability allows homeowners to manage their security system from anywhere, enhancing convenience and control over their home's security.



5.     User-Friendly: Most remote monitoring systems, like our SecureComm app are designed to be easy to use, making it accessible for all family members. This user-friendly design ensures that homeowners can navigate and operate their security system effortlessly, promoting widespread adoption and effective utilisation.




6.     Real-Time Updates: Stay informed with real-time updates on the status of your security system and any ongoing events. This real-time information keeps homeowners updated on their property's security status, allowing them to stay vigilant and responsive to potential security threats.


7.     Emergency Assistance: Directly contact emergency services or designated contacts with the push of a button in case of emergencies, ensuring quick assistance when needed. This emergency assistance feature provides homeowners with a direct line to emergency services, facilitating rapid response and support during critical situations.



At Midland Alarm Services, we have been protecting the homes of Coventry, Warwickshire and the West Midlands for 35 years. Over the years we have tried and tested pretty much every home security setup on the market and our belief is simple…


When it comes to home security, NO ONE is going to respond to YOUR alarm going off faster than YOU will!

That’s why remote monitored systems get our vote every time and it’s the service that we provide for our customers. By putting the power in your hands with our robust SecureComm app, paired with our remote technical support, you can be sure that your home is as protected as it can be.


If you’d like to find out more information on our SecureComm app and our remote monitoring services, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to chat or give you a free, no obligation quote.

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