Handling False Alarms on Your Property
Why are false emergency calls made? Simply put, we’re all susceptible to human error. Property managers may face repercussions for false emergency calls made on-site, but this doesn’t have to be the case. See how Kings III handles these situations.
Were you one of those kids who had to learn not to call 911 if there wasn’t an emergency through a scolding? Maybe you were the parent who had to do the scolding after receiving an embarrassing call back from emergency dispatchers. If it hasn’t happened to you, you’ve likely heard similar stories from others. As a property manager and someone who is liable for your tenants’ safety, it may sometimes feel like you’re that parent having to worry about your children (tenants) making false emergency calls, only for you to have to deal with the repercussions. This can be frustrating, as you recognize the importance of making tenants feel safe and providing them with means to help in the event of an emergency, but it could backfire on you if false emergency calls are made within your building, sometimes even incurring fines for you.
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The likelihood of false calls being made from a public site is high, simply by chance due to the high volume of people frequenting the property and the nature of human error. Things like a tenant opening an exit door without noticing the ALARM WILL SOUND warning, unlocking and opening the car door without disabling the alarm, opening a window or door after their home/building alarm has been armed or maybe even accidentally hitting an emergency call button are certainly not outside the realm of possibilities.
There is no need to fear. These things happen. While it might seem disastrous in the moment, there is a simple solution to all the above. At Kings III, empathy breeds understanding and more often than not, the solution comes down to communication.
When an alarm of any sort is triggered, communication of one kind or another is initiated. If a distress signal has been sent to your alarm monitoring company, you or your tenant will likely have to call them and let them know that everything is alright. You might even have to contact the police department directly to cancel any units they might have already dispatched. Bystanders alerted by a tenant accidentally setting off his or her car alarm will generally be put at ease with a smile, shrug, and a head shake. When it comes to emergency telephones on your property, as the property manager you can help to gain control of the situation by choosing the right people to monitor the phones. If your tenants accidentally activate one of your Kings III emergency phone systems at least you know you will have one less step to take in clearing things up. A call has already been initiated.
Accidentally activating a Kings III emergency phone
Maybe your tenant meant to press the door open button as a friendly gesture for someone who was rushing to catch the elevator and in that quick moment, accidentally hit the call button. Perhaps the elevator cab was so full that his or her purse or elbow bumped into it by mistake. It could be that a little one at your site’s pool could not resist the urge to press the shiny button. These things happen sometimes and are nothing that you should have to worry about.
When the button is pressed, the caller will hear a built-in recording letting them know that an emergency call has been activated and they will be connected with a live operator. It does not matter what time it is because any time, day or night, 365 days a year, a Kings III operator is ready to take the call. The operator will then answer by saying, “Kings III on a recorded line, what is your emergency?” That is where your tenants come in. Be sure to let your tenants know that if they accidentally initiate an emergency call, they simply need to inform the operator that there is no emergency and that the button was pressed by mistake. Our operators will be grateful for being notified that everything is alright. While they are fully trained to handle any type of emergency and are certified higher than even many 9-1-1 dispatch centers require, it is always a relief to know our callers are safe and in good condition.
False activations are never assumed, they are verified
One of the many benefits of Kings III’s emergency monitoring service is that it allows us to mitigate false alarms and prevent them from tying up vital resources such as police, firefighters and EMS. Rest assured, however, that if there are any issues with communication during the call, if we can hear the caller but he or she cannot hear us, we do not stop until we can ensure that no emergency exists.
If any of the scenarios above occur and we cannot verify whether everything is alright through the phone that was activated, we take special measures. In situations where we can hear a caller on the line but cannot get a response, an operator will begin contacting those listed on an emergency call-list designated by the property so that someone on-site can look into the situation. As the property owner, you get to choose ahead of time exactly who is called, at what number and in what order. If we’re able to reach someone to go and check that everything is alright at the area that the call originated from, the process can end there. Otherwise, if we are unable to reach anyone on the call list, then the call will be escalated to the appropriate emergency authorities.
For instance, if the call originated from an elevator cab, the local fire department would be contacted to verify that no one was trapped inside. If the call came in from a pool phone, we would call the local police department and ask that they perform a wellness check. While this does potentially tie up emergency authorities when no emergency exists, it is worth it on the chance if someone is in need of help. As a property owner, ensuring that a call list has been provided and has been updated to account for any personnel changes (which can be done here) can help prevent any unnecessary dispatching of emergency authorities. This helps assure that resources will be available in the event of an actual emergency—when police, fire and EMS are needed most.
At Kings III, we also take extra precautions when it comes to unattended children. When we receive a call from an unattended child under the age of 13 from one of our pool phones, we remain on the line with them until they either stop responding or an adult comes to the phone. Additionally during this time, a secondary operator calls down the call list and if we’re unable to reach voice contact we dispatch the Police.
Contact Kings III today
If you are interested in what all Kings III’s emergency phone systems can do to provide safety and reassurance for your property, feel free to give us a call at 800-383-5858 or contact us here. If our service is already in place, be sure to keep testing the phones regularly to ensure they are fully functional during times of disaster.
Kings III was honored to be recognized by its employees and The Dallas Morning News by making the daily newspaper’s Top 100 Places to Work list, falling in at 17th in the midsize companies category, jumping from its 26th standing in the previous year.
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