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Smart Home

Monitoring stations deliver a strong experience for home security customers

Reduction of false alarms is a major goal for players in the home security industry. Currently, 36% of US internet households have a home security system with the vast majority professionally monitored.

False alarms are a source of frustration for home security owners regardless of the type of alarm, and most (65%) 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, has 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. Audio and video analytics have always been a critical part of the security industry. Advanced capabilities developed and deployed for government and commercial applications eventually cascade down into residential solutions. Sophisticated video analytics are now available in the residential market, enabled by lower costs, improved resolution, edge processing capability, and higher bandwidth availability.

Overall, consumers are satisfied with home security providers and monitoring services. Half of those who owned a security system during a security event would recommend their provider to family and friends. For security service customers who experienced an event, the likelihood to recommend aligns closely with ratings on the monitoring station’s handling of a security event. With cost notably absent from the evaluation, we see a strong relationship between security consumers reporting a favorable interaction with a monitoring station and their willingness to recommend their provider.

Recalling their security event, sentiment is highly favorable toward the monitoring station’s speed and demeanor. More than two-in-three reports receiving helpful, professional, quick, and clear notifications. During a very stressful time when bad news is being shared, the monitoring stations are delivering a strong experience for most of their customers.

The response during an event is clearly a moment of truth. With nearly all security providers also offering pro-monitoring in the industry today, companies who are juggling devices and services must keep event response a high priority.

Parks Associates research extensively covers the home security and monitoring industry. For more information about our research, visit

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