Best Home Security Systems With Verified ResponseBy - 05/05/2017
In the United States, most emergency response teams will respond to a home alarm no matter what. But for a few cities, both police and fire departments require a verified response. While each city will define verified response as it sees fit, this normally means that the alarm is verified by a private guard service, using two-way audio, or using a home security camera. If you happen to live in one of the cities below, we’ve done the research to find the best national home security systems that offer a verified response to alarms in your area.
Cities That Require a Verified Respose
Verified response cities fall under one of two categories: required and recommended. The first section of the chart below covers cities which require a verified alarm response. The second section covers cities where verification is optional. However, optional isn’t necessarily superior. For most cities, this simply means that the police will respond to unverified alarms when they feel like it.
What makes this process particularly difficult is that each city has its own unique set of rules and they reserve the right to change the rules at any time. The good news is that both of our recommended security companies should be able to guide you through the specifics of your city. Additionally, you might want to reach out to your local police department or view their website for more information.
|Cities where police will only respond to verified alarms.|
|Surprise*||Frontpoint or SimpliSafe|
|Fontana, Modesto, Turlock, San Jose||Frontpoint or SimpliSafe|
|Los Angeles, Ventura*||SimpliSafe|
|Whistler, BC; Edmonton, AB; Toronto, ON; Sault Sainte Marie, ON||Frontpoint|
|Lakewood||Frontpoint or SimpliSafe|
|Henderson, Clark County||Frontpoint|
|North Las Vegas||Frontpoint or SimpliSafe|
|Salem, Josephine County, Lane County*, Lincoln County||Frontpoint|
|Eugene, Lowell||Frontpoint or SimpliSafe|
|Taylorsville, South Salt Lake||Frontpoint|
|Salt Lake City, West Valley City||Frontpoint or SimpliSafe|
|Burien, Redmond, Seattle||Frontpoint or SimpliSafe|
|Detroit, MI||Frontpoint or SimpliSafe|
|Milwaukee, WA*||Frontpoint or SimpliSafe|
|Cities where verification is optional.|
|Fremont||Frontpoint or SimpliSafe|
|Washoe County, NV||TBD|
|Thurston County, WA||Frontpoint|
*See the section labeled special notes below.
Visual Verification Methods
In general, there are three ways to verify an alarm event:
- Guard Dispatch or Eye Witness
- Professional Verification via Video Surveillance or Two-Way Audio
- Self Verification via Video Surveillance or Two-Way Audio
So which method to we recommend? We recommend a mixed approach using both a guard and video surveillance as there are pros and cons to both methods. The biggest con of using a guard service is time. The response from a guard service might be five minutes, or it might be closer to an hour. As the average burglary lasts 10 minutes, it might be too little too late.
If you want to verify alarm events faster, the answer is visual verification regardless of if you perform this service on your own or pay someone to do it for you. If you receive a notification of an alarm, you can log in from the mobile app to live stream footage. This type of verification happens instantly. If you are paying an alarm company to perform visual verification, they will simultaneously check out your recorded footage. The downside to this approach is that your camera must capture the event. If your camera is in one room and the burglar is in another, you won’t be able to view anything useful.
If you decide to perform visual verification services on your own, there is yet another downside: You must be ready and waiting, phone in hand, in order to check out the live stream. Unfortunately, for most people, it’s nearly impossible to be on-call 24/7. As a side note, if you choose to self-monitor your security cameras, you don’t necessarily have to purchase cameras from your security company. If you want to use a camera like Nest, Canary, or Arlo Pro, you can certainly do so.
Frontpoint vs. SimpliSafe
What makes our recommendations different from others is that we’ve actually tested both systems. In fact, if you want to compare Frontpoint to SimpliSafe, you can do that here.
In general, Frontpoint and SimpliSafe companies have several things in common. They both provide professional monitoring services, they both provide coverage for cities that require a verified response, and they both hold A+ ratings from the BBB. How they approach the task of verifying alarms is slightly different.
Frontpoint Home Security
Frontpoint offers two ways to verify alarm events.
- Guard Dispatch
- Self Visual Verification via Video Surveillance
Cities Frontpoint Covers and Verified Response Details
Frontpoint offers a guard dispatch service in the following cities:
Akron, OH, Bellingham, WA, Burien, WA, Clark County, NV, Detroit, MI, Edmonton, AB, Eugene, OR, Fontana, CA, Fremont, CA, Josephine County, OR, Lakewood, CO, Lane County, OR, Lincoln County, OR, Milwaukee, WI, Modesto, CA, Murray, UT, North Las Vegas, NV, Redmond, WA, Salem, OR, Salt Lake City, UT, San Jose, CA, South Salt Lake, UT, Stockton, CA, Surprise, AZ, Taylorsville, UT, Thurston County, WA, Toronto, ON, Sault Sainte Marie, ON, Turlock, CA, West Valley City, UT, Wheat Ridge, CO, Whistler, BC, Yakima, WA
In addition to these cities, Frontpoint offers Verified Response to customers in Seattle, Washington due to Seattle’s higher than normal false alarm fees ($115/false alarm).
In areas where a verified response is required, and sometimes in areas where one is not, Frontpoint has contracted with private security companies to provide coverage. Frontpoint does not charge customers for the additional service unless they dispatch a security guard.
How Much Does Frontpoint Cost?
|24/7 Professional Monitoring|
|Email & Text Alerts|
|Mobile App Control|
|Geo Location Services|
|Live Video Streaming|
|Motion Activated Video Recording|
|HD & Night Vision Video|
|Door Lock Automation|
|Energy Management Control|
|30-Day Risk-Free Trial|
|Possible Insurance Discount|
|Limited Lifetime Warranty|
|Learn More||Visit Site||Visit Site||Visit Site|
SimpliSafe Home Security
SimpliSafe offers three ways to verify alarm events.
- Guard Dispatch
- Professional Visual Verification via Video Surveillance
- Self Visual Verification via Video Surveillance
Cities SimpliSafe Covers and Verified Response Details
SimpliSafe offers a guard dispatch service in the following cities:
Detroit, MI, Eugene, OR, Las Vegas, NV, Lowell, OR, Milwaukee, WI, North Las Vegas, NV, San Jose, CA, Alton, IL, Burien, WA, Eugene, OR, Fontana, CA, Fremont, CA, Lakewood, WA, Lakewood, CO, Los Angeles, CA, Modesto, CA, Redmond, WA, Turlock, CA, Salt Lake City, UT, Seattle, WA, Surprise, AZ, Ventura, CA, West Valley City, UT
In the event of a burglary or other emergency, like a fire, SimpliSafe will dispatch a private guard to your home. What’s great about this service is that there is no additional charge to you, and SimpliSafe is already an affordable solution. If you prefer, you can self-verify events using SimpliSafe’s camera; however, they also offer video verification. This service allows SimpliSafe’s monitoring center to view your recorded video history. If they see something out of the ordinary, they will dispatch the authorities. Visual verification does cost an extra $4.99 per month but also includes cloud storage for your camera.
How Much Does SimpliSafe Cost?
|Price||Free||$14.99 / month||$24.99 / month|
|SMS/Email Alerts||+$5 / month|
|WiFi Connection||SS3 Only||SS3 Only||SS3 Only|
|August Smart Lock||YES (Requires August Connect WiFi Bridge)|
|Alexa Integration||SS3 Only|
|Google Home||SS3 Only|
|Live Video Streaming|
|Recorded Video History||$4.99/month/camera or $9.99/month/unlimited cameras||$4.99/month/camera or $9.99/month/unlimited cameras|
In addition to the traditional ways of verifying events, residents of Surprise can claim a verified event if their alarm registers two separate zones as activated. Also, use caution, as three verified alarm events that are actually false alarms will put you in response prison. If this happens to you, police will not respond to your alarm events for an entire year.
A verified response is only required between the hours of 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM.
In addition to the usual ways of verifying an alarm, police in Wheat Ridge will also respond if the officer has knowledge of recent crime patterns in your area.
Lane County only mentions the following verification methods as acceptable: Verification can be made by a neighbor, family member, private security company, etc.
Milwaukee only accepts a private guard service as a method for verifying alarms. Public Safety Ordinance #105-75-14-c-5 calls them “Private First Responders”.