How Long Does It Take for My Security System to Notify My Provider of an Intrusion?

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When a home security system is breached and an alarm sounds, most people think their monitoring company is instantly notified of the situation. In actuality, some alarm companies are notified the instant an alarm is triggered, while others use built-in alarm delays for a variety of different reasons.

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Built-in alarm delays reduce false alarms

Some alarm delays can last as long as four minutes before the alarm company’s monitoring center is notified of the event. There are advantages and disadvantages associated with alarm delays, mostly surrounding false alarms.

When a false alarm reaches a dispatcher at a monitoring company, they will be occupied for at least several minutes.

From the perspective of an alarm company, this wastes time and resources. The dispatcher could've been assisting someone in a true emergency instead. The more false alarms the center deals with, the more people needed to answer the phone. The costs can add up quickly.

Delays give you time to disarm the system

Unless you disarm the system on-the-go with a smartphone app, key fob, or geofencing automation, your home security system will go off once you open the door. You'll need some time to enter your PIN on the keypad, so a delay of at least one minute is common. 

Technology that improves response time and quality

Security companies have developed innovative technology to improve their dispatch response times. We especially like SimpliSafe's multipronged approach:

  • Fast Protect™ technology lets you easily confirm or cancel an alarm through a text message, minimizing the built-in delay during an alarm event. You can allow these notifications to by-pass your phone's silent or Do Not Disturb modes so you're always aware of an alarm. 
  • RapidSOS lets monitors quickly share important data with local emergency services so that their response time improves too. 
  • Video verification lets monitors check recent SimpliSafe camera footage to see if there's anything amiss, which may help speed up the dispatch process. 

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Info current as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
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Cathy Habas
Written by
Cathy Habas
With over eight years of experience as a content writer, Cathy has a knack for untangling complex information. Her natural curiosity and ability to empathize help Cathy offer insightful, friendly advice. She believes in empowering readers who may not feel confident about a purchase, project, or topic. Cathy earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Indiana University Southeast and began her professional writing career immediately after graduation. She is a certified Safe Sleep Ambassador and has contributed to sites like,, Hunker, and Thumbtack. Cathy’s pride and joy is her Appaloosa “Chacos.” She also likes to crochet while watching stand-up comedy specials on Netflix.

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