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False alarms are a source of frustration for home security owners regardless of the type of alarm, and most have paid a fine as a result. With 62% of home security owners able to recall a false alarm in the past 12 months, and nearly one-in-ten reporting they experienced more than five, it’s clear why false alarms are such a common topic of discussion among security system owners, dealers, and monitoring providers.

Consumers report that their systems misidentify too many moving things as intruders:

  • Pets 27%
  • Wildlife 21%
  • Objects 19%

State and municipality-led initiatives to fine security providers for false alarms instead of home dwellers have occurred in the past. Many of these laws require some form of prior verification of a real emergency before contacting emergency responders. The security industry has scored some recent wins against these local false-alarm fines: Georgia recently joined California, Florida, New Jersey, Texas, Tennessee and Iowa in banning local municipalities from fining security providers for the false alarms caused by their customers.

Still, the continued adoption of sensor-based and video verification approaches will help the industry reduce false alarms organically and obviate the need for such laws. In addition to the improved vetting of potential alerts and reducing calls to pro-monitoring and first responders, both video and audio analytics can help chase off intruders. Devices can react to intruders with automated interventions such as voice messages, sirens, or lights before or simultaneously triggering a security event.

As AI gets more powerful and better trained through machine learning, devices will increasingly identify the pattern of behavior before a break-in or attempted theft. Video analytics can recognize changes in speed or shape, implying a person near the home is running or crouching in an unexpected area.

Reduction of false alarms is a major goal for device manufacturers in the space and involves some of the system’s most advanced technology but expectations are high. Parks Associates research extensively covers the home security and monitoring industry.

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