New Vancouver Police Alarm Dispatch Policy

On Friday, we received a fax from the Vancouver Police indicating that, effective immediately, they have made a major change to their burglar alarm response policy so that we may call 911 to request Police response to client’s burglar alarms under certain circumstances.

These circumstances are:

1. Hold-up/Panic alarms
2. ULC rated security alarms (ie. in banks, jewellery stores, etc.)
2. Multiple zone alarms where both glassbreak AND motion detectors have tripped;
3. Multiple motion alarms AND either interior audio or video verification is in place

The VPD have decided that alarms that can be considered ‘verified’, or at least high risk, are worthy of a ‘priority dispatch’ much like any call for a crime in progress.

This is great news for all Vancouver homeowners and we have already changed our dispatch instructions to include calling 911 (in addition to dispatching ourselves) on every alarm that meets the above requirements.

Up until now, no alarm company was allowed to call 911 and instead had to call a special alarm dispatch line. All alarm signals were treated equally under the old policy… which was basically as the lowest possible priority. This new policy is an acknowledgement of the value of a properly installed burglar alarm that has multiple levels of detection.

For all alarm signals that do not meet the above criteria, the old policy is still in place. Hopefully, by distinguishing alarm signals in this way, the Police can avoid the massive false alarm problem caused by user error (typically single zone alarms) and faulty equipment.

This policy adds yet another great reason to ensure that you have glassbreak detection in your home or business.

While the Police obviously cannot offer a guaranteed response time, this policy change will allow us to initiate communication with 911 much sooner during an actual burglary. As always, our own response teams will still be on the way immediately after every alarm signal.

We will keep you updated on our experiences under this new policy.

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