If you're a business owner or homeowner in Vancouver and police respond to more than three false alarms from your premises in one year, your alarm permit will be revoked and it will cost you between $75 and $250 to reinstate it.
And if you live in Mission or run a business there, RCMP won't even bother to show up, unless they can confirm that a break-in is taking place.
The detachment reported last month that 95% of the alarms it responded to last year were false. Security firms that provide monitored service see similar rates.
"We process a million signals a year in our station," said Leo Knight, COO of Paladin Security Group Ltd. "Of those, 50,000 require some operator action. Of those 50,000, 500 will be real break-ins."
So how do you confirm that your home or business is being broken into?
Advances in remote video monitoring via Internet and high-resolution cameras have made it more affordable for ordinary homeowners and small businesses to monitor their properties in real time. They can even use their smartphones and tablets to get alerts and see what's going on in their premises.
"That person can now see whether it's your cat wandering by a motion detector or whether there's somebody in your house," Knight said. "The ability to tie in the two types of technology greatly enhances your security because the operator knows whether it's a real event or not."
Vivint sells a home security and automation system for $68 a month that uses two-way voice communication and video monitoring that allows users to see what's going on in their homes from their smartphones or tablets. But in December, a coding error resulted in a Vivint subscriber in Newfoundland receiving video recordings from another subscriber, and seeing into that subscriber's home instead of his own – a glitch that has been fixed, according to Vivint.
Industries with high security needs might want to check out the advanced laser detection system (ALDS) that Paladin offers.
The ALDS laser can track movement, paint a "breadcrumb trail" of the movement and zero in on the intruders with a pan-tilt-zoom camera. The system is not cheap.
"This is not for the average homeowner," Knight said.