Member Discussion

Alarm Association SIAC Revised Model Ordinance A Diversion

“…The new “2018 Model Ordinance”, revised by traditional alarm industry leadership and powerful alarm associations like SIAC, have made several meaningful concessions.  Including the reversal of a major commitment that could confuse association followers… recognition and support of VR-Verified Response. However, the new model ordinance deletes nearly all alarm industry accountability or responsibility for unnecessary police response produced by false alarms from customer alarm systems, which minimizes the solution to the problem.  We believe this unsupported arrogance will continue to dilute alarm industry credibility with law enforcement, and dilute customer expectations, and market value of RMR. Municipalities could be required to rebate $millions of fines and fees that were directed at the wrong perpetrator. Related class-action litigation is already filed… ”

Back-story:  

All customer systems are on long term contracts that are industry specific. All customer systems produce RMR- Recurring Revenue via a monthly fee that average between $25-$40. Business models for the “contract originator dealers” provide an on-premises sales presentation and system design, including selection and placement of sensors and related components and controllers.  Selection of the remote monitoring service and related technology is also provided by the contract originator.  It is a professionally customized access control system, aka “burglar alarm”.  Most contract originators are licensed by state and/or local agencies.

The typical customer has little or no knowledge, or training, or experience that could contribute to their on-site customized alarm system, or the off-site monitoring service. Thus the alarm industry has near total control and responsibility for the function and compatibility of the customer system.  Meaningful reduction of unnecessary police response must be focused on the professional alarm suppliers, especially the end-of-the-line monitoring firms.  The customer has little or no responsibility for unnecessary police response.

Source: Lee Jones; Support Services Group

 

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“'…The new “2018 Model Ordinance', revised by traditional alarm industry leadership and powerful alarm associations like SIAC..'"

"the new model ordinance deletes nearly all alarm industry accountability or responsibility"

that sounds reasonable.

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"The customer has little or no responsibility for unnecessary police response."

When I read the Babylon Bee, I often wonder... I know it's satire, but it can surely be real... because this is how some people think.

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Carl… Good Question/Comment

Yes, the customer can be responsible for many “false Alarms”, but the monitoring source is responsible for “unnecessary police response”. Big, Big difference. Remember, customer sends signals to the monitoring source, paid to audit signals and determine true/false, aka VR-Verified/witnessed 911 type emergency. Monitoring source determines when to call for help, not the customer. Monitoring source to be invoiced for unnecessary response, then passed onto the customer if appropriate. Most “deterrent” alarm systems do not warrant police response… near total error/false. Even the new SIAC model ord is now recognizing the need for confirmed/witnessed emergency prior to call for help. Millions of existing systems are in transition (unknowingly).  

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If a customer doesn't answer the phone when the central station calls, or gives a wrong passcode and the central station dispatches the police, is that an unnecessary police response?  Is the monitoring company responsible for the actions of the end user?

"Thus the alarm industry has near total control and responsibility for the function"
No.  I do not send a tech out to every customers home every time that customer leaves or arrives at their house to arm or disarm their system properly.  Just like it's would not be the fault of the phone company if one of their customers dialed a wrong number.

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If a customer doesn't answer the phone when the central station calls...

Often the customer is not home or near home when the event happens, so when they answer the phone and give the passcode, they expect someone to check it out.

True story: once I got a call from CS when I was on vacation because a door was open (it was blown open by strong winds).  

When they asked for my “secret word” I totally went blank and couldn’t recall it, though I remember thinking when I created it it was so brilliant! It was quite an uncomfortable moment, and I was wondering what they would do if I wasn’t able to ever come up with it.

Finally, I confidently said “Dunno”, but by then the clever rejoinder had lost most of its humorous qualities and sad irony was all that remained.

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In no other field would a 90%+ failure rate due to user error be acceptable. 

But not only does the intrusion detection industry accept this as normal, but they blame the user

If 90% of alarm signals are unfounded, and the vast majority (90%ish percent) of those are due to user error, then it is the responsibility of the industry to completely rethink the way alarm systems are designed, installed, and used.  

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Excellent analysis… now customers and investors are thinking the same way. High customer attrition and poor stock market performance. Public company Monitronics/ASCMA stock is now selling below $1.00, down from $88 several years ago. ADT is still in single digits, below $8 today, after about year following…” the worst performance of all $Billion IPO for 10 years…”.

The question now is how do we capitalize on this massive opportunity. Homes and businesses worldwide need and want reliable predictable private security that interacts with and compliments local law enforcement, at an affordable price. Any thoughts to share with IPVM?

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Being that I'm a rep for an intrusion detection system manufacturer (among other things I do), my solution is to push the product manager to create more intuitive products. We have something on the drawing board, and hopefully they'll spare some thought to usability. 

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Carl... you just sited several real reasons why private monitoring firms have lost credibility with law enforcement. You are not calling the cops because of an emergency, you are asking local cops to make a site inspection to determine IF an emergency (but not worth sending your own people). We forget, police response to calls for help from private monitoring firms is a voluntary courtesy, not a mandate, or citizen taxpayer “right”, unless a 911 type emergency is witnessed. You sited some of the reasons several states, including TX,GA,FL have statewide legislation that specifically prohibits monitoring firms from calling for police response until clumsy interaction/verification with the customer, thus slow or no response. The alarm industry is now so fragmented that it is hard to find the perpetrator of unnecessary police response, so cities are focusing of the end-of-the-line caller, monitoring firm, not the alarm site. Most customers are unaware of this big hole in their “security”.

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Lee, you have been summoned to comment elsewhere by the cross-thread genie.  This is NOT a false alarm.

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