As winter sets in, the demand for fast and efficient alarm response becomes more critical than ever. But obstacles such as icy roads and power cuts make it more challenging to meet demand.
There’s not much that can be done about the likes of heavy snowfall – but there are ways to get the best results possible by refining the elements of alarm monitoring that can be controlled.
As such, this article reviews the significance of advanced alarm monitoring software in optimising response times during the challenging winter months.
Winter Alarm Monitoring Challenges
Winter brings with it a unique set of challenges that can impact the operations of monitoring centres and the emergency services.
Adverse weather conditions like snow, ice, and fog can lead to increased incident rates while simultaneously hampering response efforts.
Power outages and communication disruptions also are more frequent, and the overall efficiency of emergency response can be severely tested. We also have to consider the increase in extreme weather events due to climate change.
In addition, snow and ice may cover security cameras so it’s important to keep a close eye on them and remove debris when needed. It’s also beneficial to use CCTV monitoring equipment with in-built heaters under these conditions.
Sensors deployed to monitor environmental variables may also trigger more alarms. For example, pollutant levels in cities may be higher while heavy snowfall around exhaust vents can cause carbon monoxide to build up inside properties.
Another challenge is that the extra hours of darkness often means more crime – and with people staying at home more, there are likely to be less witnesses around to deter burglars and other trespassers attempting to gain entry to commercial premises.
Perimeter monitoring systems that use beams can malfunction in low temperatures; that is, the beam can extend beyond its usual limit. If the surrounding area has more activity, such as foot traffic or moving vehicles, false alarms may happen often.
Increased Telecare Calls
Cold weather can cause difficulties for elderly individuals, which means Alarm Receiving Centres are likely to have more calls from personal alarms during this season.
Due to all the above, alarm receiving centres face the dual challenge of handling a higher volume of alerts while contending with potential delays. It’s a scenario where every second counts, and the effectiveness of response mechanisms can mean the difference between a minor incident and a critical situation.
Advanced Alarm Monitoring Software Features
Modern alarm monitoring software is a game-changer, the latest solutions offering functionality designed to significantly reduce response times and enhance operational efficiency. Some key features are outlined below.
Automated Alert Verification
The best alarm monitoring software can quickly verify alarms and reduce duplicate and false alarms, ensuring that responders are dispatched to genuine emergencies. This is vital for saving resources; a staggering 97.5% of all automatic fire alarms in the UK are false alarms, and false fire alarms cost the UK economy £700 million per year.
False alarms waste time as well as money, so it’s vital to use software capable of filtering them at the best of times, and especially during winter.
GeminiSense has always excelled at detecting false alarms, whatever is being monitored. However, the addition of our Speechbot technology takes things a step further for certain types of calls.
Thanks to Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology, it can screen alarms before they are forwarded to an operator. This enables staff to only focus on truly critical calls, which ensures resources are allocated in the most efficient way possible, making it easier to keep up with demand in winter.
High-Performance Event Transmission Technology
The cornerstone of any robust monitoring system is its ability to quickly detect and transmit alarm signals to the relevant response teams or monitoring centers, and event transmission makes that possible, no matter what types of data streams are being monitored.
Whether it’s CCTV feeds or sensors monitoring carbon monoxide levels, high-performance transmission ensures the alert quickly arrives where it needs to – and this is another area in which we specialise.
Thanks to cloud technology, alarm monitoring software can be accessed from anywhere. This is particularly beneficial for personnel who might be unable to reach their workplace due to weather disruptions. Instead, they can receive real-time alerts and remotely reset alarms all from a mobile device.
Lone Worker Protection
Winter weather can lead to hazardous working environments, especially for those in outdoor or remote locations, where workers may be more susceptible to accidents, health emergencies, or exposure to severe cold. Longer periods of darkness also increase the risks faced by employees working alone.
With lone worker solutions that have GPS tracking, employers can ensure a rapid response in the event of an emergency. These systems provide a vital communication link between the lone worker and support teams, enabling real-time monitoring and immediate assistance.
Our Lone Worker module sends the user’s location, voice and SOS message as a high priority alarm, and the call is answered automatically and is recorded and logged immediately.
Integrating with Other Systems
One of the greatest strengths of modern, cloud based alarm monitoring software is its ability to integrate seamlessly with other software. This streamlines overall operations and reduces manual oversight and the potential for human error, helping maintain efficiency.
In a season full of operational challenges, alarm monitoring software provides robust protection against the elements and the unforeseen. It not only streamlines response processes but also provides monitoring centres with the tools they need to stay one step ahead of emergencies.
Regardless of the weather, alarm monitoring personnel, public safety organisations and emergency response teams are in a better position to carry out their duties when high performing software is in use. And this translates to enhanced security, safety, and peace of mind.
So, don’t let winter put your organisation at risk – contact us today to book a demo of our state-of-the-art software; the first step towards a safer, more secure winter.