Choosing Your Contacts for Your Alarm Monitoring Service

Posted August 1st, 2014 by SimpliSafe

When many people think of a security alarm, they first think of home monitoring. This service is a key element to an alarm system: it let's both you and your local law enforcement know what is happening in your home. With a SimpliSafe monitoring plan, you can choose two primary contacts and five secondary contacts. These can be any phone numbers that you would like. But with so many options, what numbers do you choose?

Primary Contacts: The Alarm Monitoring Center's First Calls

Primary contacts are the phone numbers contacted after your alarm sounds and before the police are dispatched. You have two slots for your primary numbers which means you can have either one or two numbers contacted. These can be for the same person, two different people or a household! When the monitoring center receives your alarm signal, they will call these primary numbers looking for your safe word and looking to see if you need police dispatch. Remember, your safe word is a word or phrase you select that indicates that you are who you say you are. This word is the only way to stop police dispatch! With this in mind, it’s important that the one or two phone numbers you select to be your primary contacts have this safe word and are ready to give it if they want to stop dispatch.

When selecting your primary numbers, you want to make sure the monitoring service will be able to reach someone who may have tripped the alarm and knows the safe word. You also want to consider where you may be easily reached so you can be quickly notified about an alarm event. A home phone number is a great choice for a first primary number. This way, if your spouse, roommate or child accidentally trips the alarm, they can quickly answer the phone and provide the safe word. If you don’t have a home phone, cell phones are another great choice. You can fill these two spaces with your cell phone and the cell phone of whomever you live with. This way both you and your partner will get a call in case of an alarm event- you’ll both be notified and if it is a false alarm, you’ll have an opportunity to stop dispatch with the safe word.

If you’re using your system in a small business, you can use your main office number as the primary number. This way, if an employee accidentally trips the alarm, they will be able to use the safe word to stop police dispatch. Make sure to only give out your safe word to people you trust, and would like to be able to stop dispatch if need be. You can also give employees a specific PIN so you can best monitor their comings and goings.

Live alone? Don’t worry! You can select the best number to reach you as your primary number, and the monitoring will call only that number before contacting the police!

Secondary Contacts: Notification After Police Dispatch

After the police are dispatched, the monitoring center can call up to five secondary contacts for you! This feature is useful to notify people of the alarm event and that the police have been dispatched to your home. Remember, secondary contacts do not need your safe word! When thinking of great secondary contacts, think of people who are invested in what happens at your home, but may not have been there to cause the alarm. This might be a property manager, adult children who no longer live at home, your office number where you could be reached and clearly did not trigger the alarm, family members who live across town or even neighbors!

Make sure that when you add someone to your secondary contacts that you notify them! Explain to your secondary contacts what it means, when they’ll be contacted, and what their responsibilities will be. You may want to set up a protocol or expectations. This can be whatever you feel works best for you and your contacts: do you want them to go over and investigate if they live nearby? Do you want them to call you? Do you want them to check on family members who live in the house? By having this discussion, your secondary contacts will be a great asset and have your back!

Monitoring contacts are a great way to make sure that your system meets your needs. You can always add and remove contacts. If you’re going out of town, you can add you house sitter and make sure once you get back again, they won’t be called. With customization at your fingertips, you’ll always know what’s happening with your system and that in an alarm event, the best course of action will be taken.

How did you select your contact numbers for your home security monitoring?