The case for a third umpire in armed response

Residential Estate Security Handbook 2019 Security Services & Risk Management

99% of alarm activations are false. And for business and residential property owners who cannot afford the cost of an offsite monitoring service or dedicated control room, these activations represent inconvenience, insecurity and yet another step towards apathy.

For armed response providers, this noise in the system translates directly into increased overhead as they scale up their operations to meet the inflated resources required to address and close-out these activations. With the cost per call out estimated at between R40 – R70 per call out, false alarms have a very real impact on the bottom line.

It stands to reason that the property owner, or another key property stakeholder, with the onsite context of who should and shouldn’t be on the property, is the most definitive judge of whether the alarm trigger is yet another false alarm or rather a real threat requiring careful and informed engagement. So how can your business benefit from this knowledge?

Our current paradigm is to offer solutions which give the property owner control of their security system, but then immediately turn them into a spectator the moment there is an alarm activation. This is obviously done by design, because a security response process reliant on the property owner to respond fails the moment that owner is incapacitated or under duress.

Making the customer relevant

We at Sentian believe there is great potential in taking the customer and elevating them from being a spectator, and empowering them to be more of a third umpire. The response process still doesn’t rely on the customer’s response for a vehicle to be dispatched, but now benefits significantly from the customer’s expertise, augmented by video verification to give them the critical information they need to confidently delineate between what is and what isn’t a threat.

They become judge and jury in assessing the threat, allowing them to feel in control and providing actionable insights they can use to reduce the causes of future false alarms. The benefits to armed response are that when clients are empowered to identify false alarm activations, the majority of call outs are cancelled before a vehicle is even dispatched. This means armed response can spend more of their time and resources on the meaningful 1% of real threats, rather than the irrelevant 99%.

For property owners, both commercial and residential, with multiple sites where the economics of offsite monitoring are prohibitive, they can essentially put a control room in their pockets. A virtual control room which can easily be shared with other informed stakeholders, like family, property managers and staff to share the burden. This allows them to federate the oversight, as well as giving them high-level management oversight of the property, remote control of access, alarm, automation and CCTV capabilities.

For more information contact Sentian, +27 21 492 0777, [email protected],

Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

Visualise and mitigate cyber risks
Security Services & Risk Management
SecurityHQ announced its risk and incident management capabilities for the SHQ response platform. The SHQ Response Platform acts as the emergency room, and the risk centre provides the wellness hub for all cyber security monitoring and actions.

Eighty percent of fraud fighters expect to deploy GenAI by 2025
Security Services & Risk Management
A global survey of anti-fraud pros by the ACFE and SAS reveals incredible GenAI enthusiasm, according to the latest anti-fraud tech study by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) and SAS, but past benchmarking studies suggest a more challenging reality.

Deception technology crucial to unmasking data theft
Information Security Security Services & Risk Management
The ‘silent theft’ of data is an increasingly prevalent cyber threat to businesses, driving the ongoing leakage of personal information in the public domain through undetected attacks that cannot even be policed by data privacy legislation.

Data security and privacy in global mobility
Security Services & Risk Management Information Security
Data security and privacy in today’s interconnected world is of paramount importance. In the realm of global mobility, where individuals and organisations traverse borders for various reasons, safeguarding sensitive information becomes an even more critical imperative.

Proactive strategies against payment fraud
Financial (Industry) Security Services & Risk Management
Amid a spate of high-profile payment fraud cases in South Africa, the need for robust fraud payment prevention measures has never been more apparent, says Ryan Mer, CEO of eftsure Africa.

How to prevent and survive fires
Fire & Safety Security Services & Risk Management
Since its launch in August 2023, Fidelity SecureFire, a division of the Fidelity Services Group, has been making significant strides in revolutionising fire response services in South Africa.

A long career in mining security
Technews Publishing Editor's Choice Security Services & Risk Management Mining (Industry)
Nash Lutchman recently retired from a security and law enforcement career, initially as a police officer, and for the past 16 years as a leader of risk and security operations in the mining industry.

Risk management: There's an app for that
Editor's Choice News & Events Security Services & Risk Management
Zulu Consulting has streamlined the corporate risk management process with the launch of Risk-IO, a web-based app designed to consolidate and guide risk managers through the process, monitoring progress as one proceeds.

Integrated information platform for risk management
Editor's Choice News & Events Security Services & Risk Management
Online Intelligence recently launched version 7 of its CiiMS risk and security platform. Speaking to SMART Security Solutions after the launch event, the company’s Arnold van den Bout described the enhancements in version 7.

Global Identity Fraud Report revealing eight-month ‘mega-attack’
Editor's Choice Security Services & Risk Management
AU10TIX recently released its Q4 Global Identity Fraud Report, with the research identifying two never-before-seen attack patterns, with the worst case involving 22 000+ AI-generated variations of a single U.S. passport.