Alarm Monitoring Center Response Times: How Much Do They Matter?


While researching alarm systems, you may come across a lot about alarm monitoring center response time. And while the concept sounds very important (and it is!), you may not quite understand what it means in the context of security systems.

So, let’s break it down and provide a clearer understanding of what this measurement means and how it may affect you as a home security system subscriber.

Response time, as defined by the alarm company industry, is the measurement of time that the alarm monitoring center processes alarm “events.” This means that when a signal is sent to the monitoring center (e.g., your alarm goes off), the amount of time it takes for the monitoring center to respond and process the event is considered the response time.

When reviewing response times of home security companies and doing a side-by-side comparison, it is essential to understand that most companies report and publish an average response time (and the times can range from one just a few seconds to a few minutes). So of course, not every single response will be on the low end, but a shorter response time is better for everyone and it truly is a measurement of concern when reviewing your options.

One thing to keep in mind is that the response time from the alarm monitoring center can differ from the response time from authorities; however, these times are not independent. In most cases, a quicker response from the monitoring center will result in a quicker response from the attending emergency teams.

So what affects an alarm company’s ability to respond in a timely manner and why are some home security systems offering quicker response times than others?

For the most part, a sufficiently staffed and well-trained force that can handle alarm system traffic will result in quicker response times. A response team equipped with the right technology and training will add to the efficiency and keep the response times consistently low. If any of these factors fall below satisfactory, they could potentially create a negative effect on response times and therefore, slow down the process.

At My Alarm Center, a BBB accredited monitoring company, we have quick response times that average  60 seconds or less and we have the formula to make it happen. We have best-in-class monitoring, a well-trained team, top technology, and 24/7 accessibility, which translate into lightning fast response times. We pride ourselves on being able to quickly alert emergency response teams and get to our customers as soon as possible.

While response time isn’t the only factor to consider when choosing a home security system, it is absolutely one aspect that can make a big difference in a time of need.