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Seattle Sees Success with Alarm Management Program

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Enforcement Leads to an Additional 26% Reduction in Dispatches


FRISCO, Texas (April 28, 2008) – Through full enforcement of a new alarm policy which went into effect January 1, 2009, the Seattle Police Department has achieved an additional 26% reduction in unnecessary alarm dispatches over the previous year.  The new policy mandates that all companies and alarm users be licensed and registered with the city and that all alarm monitoring companies place two verification calls to customers before contacting police to request emergency dispatch.  This two-call verification procedure is called Enhanced Call Verification or ECV.  Prior to this enforcement initiative, Seattle had experienced a 62% reduction in police dispatches to alarms since beginning their ordinance updates in 1999.


Seattle is an excellent example of the positive effects that come from enforcing a cooperative alarm ordinance between law enforcement and the alarm industry,” stated Ron Haner, Alarm Response Manager for the Washington Burglar & Fire Alarm Association (WBFAA).  Spokane also recently began enforcing both alarm registrations and ECV, and is experiencing additional reductions in calls for dispatch over the 71% reductions already achieved under their new ordinance.


Statistics provided by the Seattle Alarm Division Report indicate that 414 locations throughout the city have had police response suspended due to excessive calls.  The number represents 23.7% of the unnecessary dispatches from the previous year.  “This is a good indication of the value of suspended response, which is fully endorsed by the Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC) and the WBFAA,” Haner added.

Statistics also show that in an attempt by the police department to work with troubled alarm users, 417 locations have been contacted regarding their excessive calls for dispatch and their pending suspended-response status. These 417 locations represent 23.8% of all unnecessary calls for dispatch last year.  In total, 905 warning letters have been sent out to locations with over three unnecessary calls for dispatch in the past six months.


Haner concluded, “The statistics from Seattle prove that if a jurisdiction takes the time and effort to enforce their alarm ordinance in cooperation with the local alarm industry, they will see the desired reductions.  Similarly in Pierce County, they require both ECV and two alarm trips within a location prior to contacting police.  Because of this, they have seen an overall reduction of 71.6%.  That is an amazing number.  I commend Seattle, Spokane, and Pierce County on their dedication to working with the alarm industry to make their communities a safer place to live and work.”



SIAC is comprised of four major North American security associations--Canadian Security Association (CANASA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA), and the National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA)--representing one voice for the alarm industry on alarm management issues. SIAC’s primary charter is to significantly reduce calls for service while strengthening the lines of communication with law enforcement professionals and end users. For more information, contact


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