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TMA Working on AVS-01 Alarm Validation Standard

The Monitoring Association (TMA) is making progress on a new American National Standard, TMA-AVS-01: Alarm Validation Scoring.

AVS-01 will use data applicable to alarm activations at protected premises to create an alarm validation score that can be used when an alarm monitoring centre contacts an ECC/PSAP to report/action a burglar alarm call-for-service.

The AVS-01 Committee has a broad scope of professionals spanning various sectors of the security industry from monitoring companies, manufacturers, consultants, to NRTL representatives.

Meanwhile, the public safety sector is represented by ECC/PSAP leaders, law enforcement and fire service professionals. Early in the process, it established guidelines for the recommended output of the scoring algorithms. With the output defined, the second workgroup could start its efforts.

The Public Safety workgroup also established guidelines for how the score would be provided to an ECC/PSAP when monitoring centers create a burglar alarm call-for-service. Those guidelines emphasized adhering as much as possible to existing ECC/PSAP protocols, simplifying eventual adoption of AVS-01.

The second workgroup is focused on the key to AVS-01 – data. To create a valid scoring methodology, empirical data related to alarm activations is essential. An initial collection of information related to 1502 actual alarms and 18,595 false alarms was provided by alarm companies for review.

That enabled a scientific look at patterns for alarm incidents in both residential and commercial properties. This data is core to creating the scoring metric process. Data indicators can be singular information that indicates a high probability of a crime in progress, as well as a compilation of separate datapoints that raise the alarm score.

There are also singular or multiple datapoints that lower the score, as well as eliminate the need to create a call-for-service. Multiple efforts were undertaken to survey law enforcement and ECC/PSAP professionals to determine what data was important to them and what incident data provided them with a level of confidence that a crime was in progress.

Once the initial draft of the standard is finalized, TMA will follow ANSI guidelines to move the standard forward. A 30-day comment period will gather public input on the draft document. The comments received will be evaluated to determine if changes to the draft document are warranted. Changes made after comment will necessitate a second public comment period, prior to release of the standard.


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