Is your burglar alarm system programmed with a communication timer test?
Just ask officials at the Siskiyou County Courthouse in California, who were shocked to discover that the failure of the security system protecting $3 million in gold resulted in a clean getaway for the thieves who simply smashed a hole in the glass case protecting the historical artifacts and grabbed everything they could.
The gold nuggets had been a theft target once before in 1979, when the silent alarm functioned as intended and the would-be marauders were apprehended roughly a block away from the courthouse with the illicit wares in their possession. This time, however, the vibration alarm that was meant to protect the irreplaceable gold nuggets – some of which date back to the town’s founding – did not respond at all. A town spokesperson stated that the system had been properly armed, and that the county was working with its security provider to get to the bottom of the glitch.
Perhaps the most telling aspect of the sad story surrounding the Siskiyou gold is a footnote at the bottom of the article that mentions an annual security alarm test schedule. According to the Courthouse, the last test occurred in August of 2011, nearly seven months before the February theft.
There is an important lesson that business and property owners can learn from the tragic tale of the Siskiyou theft, and that is that it’s not enough to rely on a single alarm system test every 12 months. So much can happen within a year’s time, especially in a heavily-trafficked space such as a courthouse or a retail space, that it really becomes necessary to perform an alarm system test at least once per quarter, if not once per month.
American Alarm programs a timer test with its business security systems that can send communications weekly or daily, depending on the type of signals being monitored. If our central station operators do not receive a signal, we contact the owner immediately to determine the cause of the missed communication, and find a solution to the issue.
It costs nothing to make sure that your alarm system is functioning up to spec – what’s the price tag of not knowing? In the case of Siskiyou County, the figure would seem to be $3 million.