ADT’s Police Response packages are now ECHO-connected

February 03 2022

ADT is introducing a few system updates designed to improve your safety when your alarm is triggered. Read more below about ECHO, how you can benefit, and what that means for your alarm system. 

What is ECHO?
Simply put, ECHO (Electronic Call Handling Operations) is a dedicated alarm transfer service. Its main goal is to optimise the police’s response to any emergency alarms that are triggered. The service is fully automated and directly connects ECHO-connected alarm receiving centres (ARC), and the police. So, when an ECHO-connected ARC receives an alert from a device we’ve been monitoring, ECHO transfers a direct signal to the police control room – in an instant. 

What do these changes mean?  
In essence, the way the police process alarm signals is improving both in quality and speed. Making the switch from a traditional telephone communication to an ECHO-connected system can enhance police response time by up to four minutes. This can be crucial in getting the police to the situation quickly.

WHY is this being done?
The main objective is to integrate ECHO-connected alarms and ARC’s (including ADT’s), to boost police response for both intruder and hold up alarm signals. For ADT customers that means increased peace of mind, knowing your alarm signal is sent directly to the police.


Benefits of ECHO:

  • Fast Alarm Transmission

The replacement of manual call handling with machine-to-machine signalling means customers can expect a more streamlined response from emergency teams. The switch to the ECHO hub is expected to save up to four minutes in response time. 

  • Accurate Incident Information

Despite being well trained and experts in their field, call handlers can often make mistakes. The use of ECHO reduces the potential for human error, like mishearing an address. Instead, this system ensures information is processed accurately and efficiently.

  • Automatic event incident acknowledgment from ‘Blue light’ service to ARC

ECHO can effectively communicate an alarm signal’s incident number and event log to the police within seconds. This saves time and allows emergency personnel to complete more valuable tasks, rather than spending time taking details over the phone.


ECHO Frequently asked Questions 

When is this effective from?
ADT’s alarm receiving centre is already ECHO connected. That means we’re ready to connect directly to the police, but only to those forces that have enabled their Command and Control systems for ECHO.

Which Police forces are ECHO connected already? 
Currently the Essex and Metropolitan Police forces are equipped with ECHO. On top of that, Avon and Somerset is set to join them in April 2022. To keep up to date with developments of ECHO, you can visit ECHO-connected Police Forces.

Why am I being charged for this?
ADT Fire & Security PLC are required under the ECHO agreement to declare all the live contracts that currently have Police response (for either intruder and/or hold alarms) in the areas where Police Forces are ECHO ready and subsequently are charged for the service. These annual charges are necessary for the upkeep of the ECHO network, meaning from an additional amount of as little as £3 per annum you get a more efficient and improved service with a faster response time.  

Does my existing ADT system need upgrading or changing to qualify for ECHO? 
Fortunately, there are no manual upgrades or hardware changes you need to make to your existing ADT system. That means we take care of everything, so you can reap the full benefits of an ECHO connection, without having to lift a finger. At ADT, all of the software upgrades from our Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) have already been completed, rigorously tested, and approved by all parties involved.

Can I choose to opt out of an ECHO connected police response system?
No, but there are good reasons why. The National Chief Police Council has made it mandatory, so that once a police force is ECHO ready they are required to make the switch. Police response alarms can only be requested via ECHO.  

Are all alarm companies now offering ECHO?
No, not all alarm companies or alarm receiving centres offer ECHO for police response. For this to be possible, alarm monitoring companies need their ARCs to meet rigorous criteria, like completing a Cyber Essentials Certification programme for instance.

It’s worth noting that for alarm systems to offer an immediate police response, your alarm must be professionally installed by an accredited engineer and meet strict industry standards set by NSI or SSAIB. 

There are also some companies who claim to offer Police Response, but do not meet the same high standards. So it’s always worth checking credentials beforehand.

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