What is Security System Monitoring?

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  • Written By: Barbara R. Cochran
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 18 January 2020
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To prevent home and business invasions, many turn to companies that offer security system monitoring services. When in place, these systems help protect a home or company from possible thefts and/or destruction of property by calling on local authorities. Also, lives may be saved when security system monitoring is in place. Security system monitoring is typically carried out 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Monitoring centers receive tens of thousands of alarm signals daily.

Generally, customers may choose from several different types of security systems services, depending on their preferences and the kind of communication systems they already have set up in their homes or business. Initially, landline telephone systems were the only means by which a home security system could communicate with a monitoring station. Two-way voice service, over an intercom, connects a household or business to the monitoring station during break-ins and other emergency situations.


During the early 2000s, many people gave up their landlines to use cell phones for all their personal phone communications because of rising service costs, the need to be available at all times, and because of safety issues. As a response, the security industry developed broadband security system monitoring. With broadband, the security system’s master control panel is plugged into a router or modem instead of a telephone to establish a connection between the home and a monitoring station. Notification of the monitoring station by a broadband system is usually about four times faster than notification using a landline system. Generally speaking, time is of the essence in emergency situations.

When a protected area in a house or business is invaded, an alarm is set off when a security system is in place. The system monitoring center immediately receives a warning signal. If the monitoring professional determines an emergency is taking place at the home or business from which it has been contacted, he or she will send out local law enforcement or other emergency responders.

Security system monitoring services can be expanded or modified. This depends on the type of structure and the amount of coverage requested. Typically, a larger home or building, or series of buildings, would want coverage for more areas or zones.

Some security monitoring companies have more than one monitoring center. This ensures coverage in the event of a system disablement due to a disaster. Certain companies also offer fire detection services. Many elderly people sign up for remote monitoring services, especially if they live alone, to ensure that an ambulance will be sent to their residence in the event that they have a fall, or experience some kind of major health complication.

In addition to systems monitors who work at centers, most security system monitoring companies employ an on-call, 24 hour-a-day staff that customers can contact over the phone for technical assistance. Such technicians sometimes advise and guide customers who have just had their system installed. They also troubleshoot any problems that might arise with existing customers’ systems.


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