American Alarm sends first ASAP response in New England

Program reduces time and error in alarm response
Wednesday, April 29, 2015

ARLINGTON, Mass.—American Alarm and Communications, an installing central station based here, says it is the first New England monitoring center to use the ASAP program to respond to an alarm signal.

The Automated Secure Alarm Protocol enables central stations to compile information digitally—such as name, location, address and type of alarm—and send it to dispatch centers. It reduces verbal error and response time.

“There is no way to get it wrong, from a spoken standpoint—nothing can be heard or taken the wrong way. … Likewise, the time that it takes to pass over that information is greatly [decreased],” Chris Newhook, American Alarm central station manager, told Security Systems News.

American announced April 22 that it first used ASAP to respond to a signal on March 22 from outside Richmond, Va. The use of ASAP reduced the time of the response to 30 seconds or less, Newhook said; without ASAP it could have taken up to three minutes. CSAA confirmed that American was the first to use ASAP in New England.

American has been working on implementing ASAP since late 2013, Newhook said.

“The mechanics of getting [ASAP] up and running aren’t particularly difficult” in the central station, he said. “What takes a little bit of time is to reach out to the PSAPs to establish a relationship there” to ensure they are prepared to receive ASAP signals, he said.

ASAP also allows for faster alarm cancellations through its ability to update information after it is sent to a PSAP, which can cut down on false alarm dispatches, Newhook said.

American Alarm also has ASAP capabilities in Washington and Tempe, Ariz. The company is currently working with PSAPs in Boston on incorporating ASAP.