Career Focus: What's it like to Be an Alarm Responder in Alberta?

 April 29, 2023    Alberta Security Hub Staff

Picture of a badged guard/officer holding a work device

In this third edition of our Career Focus series, we cover what an Alarm Responder does and also touch on Alarm Monitoring, giving you a better understanding of these topics.

As you may have guessed, alarm responders have the duty of responding to security alarms when triggered to reduce the severity of or to handle an emergency situation until law enforcement personnel arrive on scene. Alarm responders are needed in all sorts of settings since there are a broad range of places that use security alarms, for example alarms may be used for Loss Prevention purposes in stores. Businesses with these loss prevention alarms depend on alarm responders to minimize losses and ensure safety for customers, meaning this position is a very important one.

Frequently you will respond to alarms in a marked vehicle. While you will not use lights and sirens, you still need to get on site as soon as possible. You will conduct a perimeter patrol and identify any signs of a forced entry. If needed you will call the police and ensure evidence is secured.

Customer service is an essential skill to have when working as an alarm responder. As one of the first to respond to an emergency, being able to communicate and deal with parties involved at the scene is crucial to a job well done and can be of great assistance to law enforcement and other emergency responders upon their arrival.

As for licensing and requirements, you can become an alarm responder in Alberta by taking the ABST course and having possession of an Alberta Security Licence. Upon receiving a job offer, you may need to provide a Criminal Background Check. Having First Aid and CPR Certification can mean the difference between life and death in an emergency since you will likely be first on the scene. Certain positions may even require First Aid and CPR certification as one of the requirements to apply. Having multilingual skills can also give you a better chance at getting the job. For many alarm response positions a driver's licence will be needed in order to respond to alarms in a marked vehicle.

The median wage for an alarm responder (alarm investigator) is $19.00/hour on the Government Of Canada Job Bank. The low is listed as $16.00 and the high is $26.50 per hour. Possessing this position can make it easier to jump to higher paying security jobs in Alberta.

Something else worth taking a look at is alarm monitoring. These jobs typically take place in a central location of a security company such as at a main control centre. You are responsible for being on the lookout for active alarms or threats to a clients location through active alarm signals and monitoring systems as well as CCTV and detection systems. These positions tend to be 24/7 as they typically offer coverage for businesses and personal use such as in residential settings. If you're looking for an overnight security job, this may be the job for you. As mentioned in our requirements section, security companies that hire individuals who monitor alarms will see multilingual skills as an asset. You may have to communicate over voice with a client who may not speak English as their main language. This communication is crucial in getting information from the client on the situation and giving law enforcement responding to the scene as much information as possible.

Here's a brief video rundown of what an alarm responder does:

Curious about other security careers in Alberta? Click Here to access our other blogs and career focus series.

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