Affordable Home Monitoring Alternatives

This is the fourth and the final part of our series on monitoring. So what do you do now?

Through my experience and the state of alarm monitoring today that we have just looked at, I realized a better solution was needed. One that gave us back control and was affordable. So I heped develop a service called Blockwatch Alarm to address all of it and give people an alternative.

I keep referring to the City of Seattle because that’s where I’ve lived all my life that I’ve been in alarms since 1968 till the current day. In the City of Seattle they no longer want to respond to alarms, and are looking to neighborhoods to help. City of Seattle has about half a million people and they have 3800 active neighborhood block watch communities.

The ideas is that you get to know your neighbors. You’re watching out for what’s happening. Do we see cars that are not recognized in the neighborhood?

That’s really the way crime prevention is going. They have recognized that with the budgetary constraints we talked about in our earlier episodes, they cannot do it by themselves. The home owner needs to take responsibility for that.

What we’ve developed is a kind of a bridge to that, that we call Blockwatch Alarm. What we do is that we take a conventional alarm system, that might be put in by ADT or whomever, and we digitally connect it with what we call a danger network. It is a virtual central station up in the cloud.

The alarm signals are automatically sent to that central station and we route the signal out to notify the people and notification method you choose.

For any bugler alarm signals, supervisory signals, low battery and any other signals the alarm system produces, they are automatically routed to who you choose by text, email or phone call.

The home owner can go online and say, “I want these six people notified by phone call when this alarm is triggered.” When your alarm system sends the signal, Blockwatch Alarm would call six calls simultaneously. “I want these people texted, I want these individual emailed”, and the system would give those people an accurate message of what exactly was triggered.

So it could call five of my neighbors simultaneously and say, “The alarm system at Russell’s house has activated it shows that the back door has been opened.”

My neighbors can look out the window to see if they see a car at my driveway that they don’t recognize. If anything looks suspicious, they would call 911. If they call the police and say they see something is going on, that isn’t a false alarm. That is serious.

My neighbors could help and look. I’m not asking them to go over and be Rambo or anything.

Then we take the signals like fire alarms, smoke detectors or panic alarm and we route those to a manned central station. And the central monitoring station handles those in a traditional manner.

But the amount of traffic going to the police department is reduced dramatically by doing this and we actually get better eyes on what potentially could be catching someone. Maybe we are getting a license plate number or other identifier because we’ve alerted the neighbors.

So that’s what we call Blockwatch Alarm, it can be done with any existing alarm systems. You don’t need new equipment. It’s just a matter of reprogramming it.

The monitoring can be as low as $9.99 a month. And just $14.99 a month with fire alarm monitoring by a manned central station. We really feel that Blockwatch Alarm will be the type of service that we’ll have in the future because we all have to participate in keeping our community safe.

So that ends our four part section on monitoring. If you go to my website you can find more information on Blockwatch Alarm and any questions you might have feel free to contact me and I’m using this blog to try to educate people because I am the professor. Anyway from the top of Queen Anne Hill in beautiful Seattle Washington, is the alarm professor signing out.

Intro to Alarm Monitoring Series: