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Alarm monitoring with 24/7 video surveillance: a false sense of security.

Updated: May 12, 2022

Thousands of companies are on the market with the statement that your property is always secured by alarm monitoring and video surveillance. This is untrue. Here is why.

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Alarm monitoring with 24/7 video surveillance: a false sense of security

Hundreds of companies exist on the market with the statement that one's property is always secure when covered by alarm monitoring and video surveillance. This is untrue. Here is why.

How traditional alarm monitoring works

Alarm monitoring is reactive. This means the alarm goes off at the moment the breach happened. (if it was not deactivated by intruders head first). As soon as the monitoring company receives the signal that something is happening, the criminal activity is already in progress!

In armed mode an alarm system operates and analyzes the cameras. This system is a fully fledged alarm system that is an overhead expense compared to our solution (see below).

In normal usage the system is unarmed, the property is not protected, cameras (and their analytics) are in offline mode.

24/7 alarm monitoring can be implemented two ways: by AI (artificial intelligence) analysis and by human workforce.

  1. AI solution: the operation of the built-in analytics requires sophisticated software and its precise configuration. Regular updates (security patches) can be necessary. AI solutions still have areas to be developed: they provide too many false alarms: movement of tree branches, rain, spiders and spider web, movement caused by wind and traffic, etc. can trigger the alarm. False alarms raise additional costs (depending on your contract) and they are surely very disturbing. False alarms have a negative impact on trusting the system: neighbours' awareness is lowered for example.

  2. Security workforce is mostly provided by SOCs (Security Operation Center). Hundreds of camera feeds are displayed on a wall of screens and analytics work on the streams. A few operators watch hundreds of such feeds which means they hardly detect suspicious events. This makes it impossible to work in a preventive way. Customers are not protected to the extent they believe they are.

24/7 alarm monitoring is not equal to 24/7 off-site guarding

Photo by Michał Jakubowski on Unsplash

In 24/7 alarm monitoring cameras are turned on in case the alarm goes off (false alarm or real breach). In this case it is already too late. By the time the action team arrives at the scene, criminals have already left - with your valuables.

In case of 24/7 off-site guarding a set of cameras are always turned on, sending live stream to our headquarters where feed is watched by trained professionals.

Swissguard’s solution - preventive and proactive guarding at less cost!

According to surveys conducted by military and security experts, a human's concentration ability is limited to roughly 60 feeds at the same time. This ability has a time limit as well: after about an hour the attention is lost.

We applied these figures to our best practices. One Watch Officer has 3 screens, maximum 12 feeds each. They spend 45 mins in the Watch Room, where no distractions are allowed: no phone, no other applications on the screen, etc.

There are no blind spots: Watch Officers work in a strict roster, each and every feed is watched by fresh colleagues and attention is paid to your video stream 24/7.

Once a suspicious event is observed (i.e. before the actual crime could take place), the case is escalated to the Watch Supervisors who may pull up all additional cameras at the scene, analyze the event, and notify local law enforcement if necessary.

This practice ensures that criminal activity is prevented and actions are taken within the shortest possible time.

This is provided at significantly less cost (about 20%) than on-site human guarding.

No local alarm system, no HR activity, no human errors.

Our partner installs a few cameras at your site and our HQ does the rest. Each property/object is different, therefore we provide custom solutions.

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