Audio and video verification

Alarms that utilize either audio, video, or combination of both audio and video verification technology give security companies, dispatchers, police officers, and property managers more reliable data to assess the threat level of a triggered alarm.

Audio and video verification techniques use microphones and cameras to record audio frequencies, video signals, or image snapshots. The source audio and video streams are sent over a communication link, usually an Internet protocol (IP) network, to the central station where monitors retrieve the images through proprietary software. The information is then relayed to law enforcement and recorded to an event file, which can be used to plan a more strategical and tactical approach of a property, and later as prosecution evidence.

An example of how this system works is when a passive infrared or other sensor is triggered a designated number of video frames from before and after the event is sent to the central station.

A second video solution can be incorporated into to a standard panel, which sends the central station an alarm. When a signal is received, a trained monitoring professional accesses the on-site digital video recorder (DVR) through an IP link to determine the cause of the activation. For this type of system, the camera input to the DVR reflects the alarm panel's zones and partitioning, which allows personnel to look for an alarm source in multiple areas.

The United States Department of Justice states that legislation requiring alarm companies to verify the legitimacy of an alarm, before contacting law enforcement (commonly known as "verified response") is the most effective way to reduce false burglar alarms. The Department of Justice considers audio, video, or an eye-witness account as verification for the legitimacy of a burglar alarm.