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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.

Recent news reports have mentioned a number of break-ins around the Salt Lake Valley. In some cases, intruders targeted religious buildings where they caused considerable damage. Other cases involved robbers stealing from area businesses.

But Sonitrol, a specialized alarm company that has successfully stopped break-ins nationwide, could end those occurrences. The company recently opened an office in Salt Lake, and I had the chance to visit the location and learn what it is that makes the Sonitrol product so effective.

It begins with a unique audio detection system—one that can “hear” things a motion sensor on most alarms can’t detect. Sonitrol’s system can listen around corners to protect even unusual points of entry that intruders prefer, such as walls, ventilation systems and roofs.

I learned on my visit that most conventional alarm systems only cover small portions of selected areas, and they activate only after an intruder has broken in. Many use audible alarms, which can also help intruders get away. But perhaps the biggest problem with conventional alarms is that they can’t detect an actual break-in from a simple disturbance nearby. In 1999, Salt Lake police responded to some 10,000 alarm dispatches and 99 percent of those were false alarms.

The Sonitrol system activates the instant it detects an unusual sound. Then, a signal is sent to a trained operator who can listen and determine whether the sound was caused by an intruder. If it was, the operator will dispatch police. If not, the system can be reset. Response time is much faster than with other alarms because there are fewer steps involved, and it doesn’t require any calls to the business or owner to verify a break-in. And Sonitrol’s system can detect other dangers as well, including smoke, heat and waterflow.

I learned that since 1977, Sonitrol has helped make more than 150,000 apprehensions, and it has the highest documented apprehension rate in the industry. More important, Sonitrol alarm systems have actually caught 15 percent of would-be burglars before they could get into buildings. Best of all, Sonitrol can prevent false alarms, saving both time and money, making it a good solution for Salt Lake and Utah in general.

For Zions Bank, I’m Fred Ball. I’m speaking on business.

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