Audio is an essential security technology, giving customers a more complete surveillance solution and enhancing situational awareness for security operators. Integrating audio monitoring devices into existing security systems has a multitude of advantages, ranging from alarm verification to added business intelligence. Below are the top ways that audio devices can increase the security system functionality and footprint:
1. Secondary-Source Alarm Verification
According to a COPS report, between 94 and 98 percent of alarms nationwide are false. With this in mind, it should come as no surprise that police departments across the country have chosen to prioritize the calls they receive, leading to longer response times for unverified alarm events. However, a verified alarm will receive priority response from law enforcement.
In order to verify an alarm, a secondary source should be used to help monitoring professionals, or on-site security, determine whether or not the alarm is valid. When audio devices are paired with security alarms, live audio or clips from the incident can be sent to a monitoring facility to provide real-time alarm verification. This verified alarm will receive priority response from local law enforcement, and the audio captured at the scene can be sent to first responders, allowing them to gain a better understanding of the scenario before they arrive.
2. Additional Evidence Capture
When you add audio to an existing surveillance system, you essentially add “ears” to your “eyes”. By adding audio capabilities, security teams obtain more facts about a situation like suspect names, languages spoken and commands given. While video may show a scene, audio clarifies the intentions behind the actions captured on camera. These additional details help both security officers and law enforcement more effectively respond to an incident or prosecute those responsible for a crime.
3. Business Intelligence
Not only is audio monitoring a valuable security tool, but it can also be used as a resource to improve business operations and quality assurance, particularly within the retail sector.
One of the most common issues retailers face are customer complaints or disputes. But integrating audio into an existing solution expands security system functionality and provides a simple way to mitigate these issues. By installing microphones above point-of-sale terminals there is a record of all verbal interactions between employees and shoppers. Using these recordings managers can resolve any potential “he said, she said” disputes and prevent them from escalating further. Business owners can also use the audio monitoring system to assess employee performance, to better understand whether they are providing good customer services or if additional training will be required.