"UL Has Blood On Their Hands" Alleges The Interceptor / Keith Jentoft

By John Honovich and Brian Rhodes, Published Oct 14, 2019, 07:29am EDT (Info+)

"UL has blood on their hands" alleges Keith Jentoft of "The Interceptor Project".

We examined The Interceptor in-depth last year, see: The Interceptor Aims To Fix Vulnerability In Millions of Alarm Systems.

Now, we examine Jentoft's allegation, The Interceptor's marketing campaign and the prudence of such allegations.

Update October 16, 2019: UL denies the allegation.

Allegations ****

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*** ******* ******** *** ********** ** the ****** * ******** *******:

No ******* *** ** ******* ****

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Interceptor ****** ** *** *** **** ********* **

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******* ** ******* *********** *****, ***, ****, ***, ***, FASI-T, ****-**, ****, *** ******** ***** ***********. ** *** ******** ****, ** ********* ****:

*** ******************** *** ******** *** ** ******* serial ******* ******** ******* *** ********* devices ** '**** **' *** ****** unresponsive. ****** *** ***** **** * building **** ***** ******, ** **** a ******* ***** *** ** ****** with * ****** ****** ** ** entrance.

*** ******** *** ****** ****** '***** of *** ***' **** * ***** supervision ****, ********** **** ****** **** killing *** ******** ******* *** ******* that ******** ******* **** ************* ***** dial *** ** ******* *******.

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Pitch ** ******** ************

**** ** **** ***** *** ******* a ********** **** *** ** **********, Jentoft *** ***** **** ******* ******** publications, ********* ****, ** * '**** alarm ***** ******':

** ** *****, ***** ** ** recall ** *** **** *********.

*********** ***** **** **** ** ** email, ** ***** **** **** ****** we ***** ********** *** ******** *** a ****** ** **** ** / when *** ** ********** ******** ***** panels ** ** ***-**********.

*** *** ** *** ***** *********** of **** ******* ***,***: ***** ***** ***** ****** ***** Be *******. *****, ** ******* ****, **** SSI *** *** **** *** **** more ******** *******, *.*.,***: *** ****** ***** *** ******* Alarm ***** ************: ***** ***** ****** ***** *********?

Why *** **** ***** ** ********?

** ** *** ***** *** *** Interceptor ******* *** *** **** *** this ********* **** ***** *** ** government **** *** ********. *** ******* issue *** **** **** ***** *** some ****, *.*., ** ******* **** 18 ****** *** -*** *********** **** ** *** ************* In ******** ** ***** *******.

Blood ** Hands - *********** *** *****

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Profit ****** ******

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Libel / ********** ****

****** ** ************ ******** ****** **** out ************* **** **** ** ****** off ** ** *******.

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Vote / ****

Update - ** ****** *** **********

** ** ***** ** ** **** member, ** *** ****** *** **********, countering:

** **** ** ******** ****** ******* the ********** ********* ** *** ******. The ******* ********* ******* ********** *********** hazards, ****** ** ****** *** *********** disablement ** * **** ****** ******. Those ****** ****** **** ***** *** commercial ******** ** ******* *******. *** requirements ***** ********* ****** ****** ** fire ***/** ********* ********* ****** *** protected **** *** ********* *** ******** by *** ********** ********* ** ****.

Comments (38)

This is BIZARRE to say the least. I have Zwirn’s excellent book “The Alarm Science Manual” and I agree with most of his views.

It will be interesting to see how this shakes out.

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I tested his theory on a DMP XR panel this morning. Shorting the power on the keypad bus only impacts the keypad bus. So anything that's wireless, zones or access control on the LX/AX bus or communications are not impacted by the short on the keypad bus. We have also seen shorts on the keypad bus for Bosch not impact communication or zones, only keypads.

My research into this is very limited.

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Minimally, it is odd that Jentoft did this before the US responded to their request for an investigation...If the US government did approve a recall that would certainly bolster Jentoft's allegation here. But if they lose, instead of a multi-million dollar payday, Jentoft could be facing a multi-million dollar lawsuit.

yes, but if your plan is to make such an allegation regardless, it is better to make it before the government report than after an exoneration, no?

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Why are there so many certifications referenced after Zirwin name? It looks strangely “try hard” especially in context to the article. Is the an attempt to make it look more ridiculous?

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Not caping for him but He writes articles for several magazines and that’s pretty much his moniker. In other words he’s appeared this way long before the current issue.

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Frankly, both. However, Zwirn really does emphasize his credentials. It is a core part of his identity unlike any other veteran industry professional I have ever seen, so we are fairly representing him as he sees himself.

Related: Jeff Zwirn: IPVM, If You Had Appeared At Any Reputable, Qualified And Professional Organizational Event Venue, Your Outrageous Belief System Would Demonstrate How Much You Do Not Know and Jeffrey Zwirn, I Will Pay You $500 To Back Up Your Video Surveillance Expertise Claims

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Ohhh I see now... I thought it was you trolling but i see his preference is to sign off like that. I have not seen that many referenced before. It looked odd to me and so I naturally thought it was you stirring some shit lol

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...but i see his preference is to sign off like that.

he was broken of the habit here...

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The 'on hands' implies an especially close and direct connection between one's death and their actions.

speaking of “blood on hands”, literally, this litigation taken by SawStop, maker of table saws that stop on contact with flesh, might be of interest to Zwirn and co:

SawStop Table Saw Litigation: Three Key Takeaways for the Product Liability Practitioner

at the very least he could add PLP, Product Liability Practitioner to his credentials.

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Keith Jentoft responded to the article, we have pasted it unedited below:

I believe that this statement is not accurate, “What Jentoft does not emphasize is how 'The Interceptor Project' stands to make money off of this.” This was very clear in the Security Sales article and I was clear with him in our interview. Here is what the article stated:

"Zwirn has teamed with security industry veteran Keith Jentoft who will lead the marketing efforts for the device. Jentoft’s industry tenure includes serving as president of Videofied/RSI Video Technologies, which was acquired by Honeywell in 2016. He also founded the Partnership for Priority Verified Alarm Response (PPVAR).

Jentoft explained to SSI they will look to license the product to one or more manufacturers or other entities.

“You can imagine a tremendous business opportunity because every panel that’s out there is going to need one of these modules, that is the cheapest way [to fix the non-compliance issue] in any case. And if I was Company X, maybe I want to buy this as an exclusive,” he said. “So with all those panels, now I have my fingers in there. And maybe I want to have them reporting to me. There is a whole bunch of things you could do if you’re the only one that had it.”

This same Security Sales and Integration article referred to the complaint regarding loss of life,

“The filing also makes reference to “’documented losses of life and property where these control panels were installed and failed,’ which Connaughton Group provided within its regulatory package.”

I maintain that if people lost their lives because UL allowed a non-compliant product to be certified, then at some level UL is responsible and has blood on their hands because somebody died due to their failure.

Regards,

Keith Jentoft

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I maintain that if people lost their lives because UL allowed a non-compliant product to be certified, then at some level UL is responsible and has blood on their hands because somebody died due to their failure.

If.

But I recall somebody asking Jeff for documented instances in which this bus short issue caused an actual problem, and he refused to provide any.

Now, I'm moderately familiar with UL, and they're a bunch of belt-and-suspender types over there. I find it real hard to believe they've overlooked something like this. I find it really, really hard to believe they've been alerted to something they overlooked and continue to ignore it.

So... what gives?

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does Jentoft not have blood on his own hands from his Videofied panels, or???

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Just for context, its good to bear in mind the irrelevance of UL outside of the US domestic market.

Much be a slow news day - even the poll shows no-one has any real idea or interest!

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Just for context, its good to bear in mind the irrelevance of UL outside of the US domestic market.

Well in fairness to IP Video Market. This is mostly a burglar / fire alarm issue. In groups on social media where the focus is alarm systems this is a much hotter topic. Most the people on this website are here for video surveillance.

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While we don't cover intrusion as a 'core' area, many of our members also install intrusion systems and the scope of this complaint is directed at many commercial alarm brands. Readers outside the US could be impacted by such an action.

Also, 'No' or 'Don't Know' votes do not indicate a lack of interest in the topic by readers. They indicate doubt the CPSC complaint targeting the UL raised by 'The Interceptor Project' will precipitate the recall it intends.

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Do you have any idea when the CPSC will reach a verdict?

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We have asked Jentoft when he anticipates a decision and will update with his answer.

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Jentoft response:

Brian,

The CPSC has not given us a firm date, but likely there should be something by the end of the year.

Life-safety issues are given priority.

The CPSC has informed us that they have officially notified the manufacturers of the complaint as their process moves forward.

Regards,

Keith Jentoft

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The CPSC has informed us that they have officially notified the manufacturers of the complaint as their process moves forward.

i am really looking forward to the lawyer-crafted words of the manufacturer and certification groups in rebuttal to the validity of this 'complaint'.

Zwern finally hired a marketing person.

big whoop.

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Poll needs a fourth option of "Demagoguery sells."

Perhaps in the interest of public safety, Mr. Jentoft should consider offering his product free of charge.

Otherwise, isn't the blood on HIS hands, should a panel remain unmodified, and end up 'causing' deaths?

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His product actually looks pretty sound, its just a hard sell for me if its cloaked in fire and brimstone sales/PR tactics.

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...Jesus of Nazareth...

oh, that Jesus ;)

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I have over 30 years in this industry, especially the alarms side of it. In all of that time I have seen more issues with panels when there is an overload / near short on the sounder or strobe outputs than I have seen issues with keypad bus run / faults 'killing' a panel.

The obvious exception to this is panels which have a single 485 (or 485 like) LAN for communications to external expanders, keypads etc. However faults on these runs, whilst they may kill the remote devices, do not typically stop panel communicators etc from functioning.

Certainly there are issues in this day & age of external communicators (dialler capture devices) which are powered from the panel. This is mostly because most panels have a single, or at best 2 fuses / PTCs for external power supply & shorting a sensor wire can take these out. That is why best practice is to use fuse distribution boards, but of course they cost money & nobody wants to spend it. Most installers will not even quote for them as that will make them seem more expensive, and they are not good enough sales people to convince the purchaser to look past the cheapest price.

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Response I received from UL on this matter today. One thing I can tell you as a UL certified company, they take these accusations seriously. I foresee a lawsuit coming Keith's way.

UL’s Response to Recent Fire Alarm Control Panel Claims

Dear Valued Customer,

UL’s public mission is to promote safer working and living environments for all people. We make every effort to confirm that UL-certified products meet stringent safety requirements, including opening a Product Incident Report for any issue that comes to our attention.

Consistent with our usual policies regarding product safety matters, when UL received the alarm system claims, UL immediately opened a Product Incident Report and began an investigation.

During such investigations, certification documentation is reviewed, products are often re-tested, and if any issues are found, UL works with the product manufacturer to resolve the issues. In some instances, a public notice may be issued.

Based on the investigation completed thus far, no safety issues have been identified. The investigation is still ongoing.

UL sees no imminent hazard despite the assertions currently in the market. The current standards address reasonably foreseeable hazards, faults or misuse not intentional disablement of a life safety device. Those making claims have their own commercial interest in driving concern. The requirements being suggested around attack by fire and/or malicious intrusion inside the protected area are currently not mandated by the applicable standards or code. New suggested requirements could be brought to the attention of the Standard Technical Panel. Those making claims are part of the STP and have not brought suggested revisions to the STP’s attention to-date.

For any questions related to this matter, please contact Kevin Faltin, Vice President of Building and Life Safety Technologies at Kevin.R.Faltin@ul.com.

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The current standards address reasonably foreseeable hazards, faults or misuse not intentional disablement of a life safety device.

Well, that seems reasonable.

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"Those making claims have their own commercial interest in driving concern."

"Those making claims are part of the STP and have not brought suggested revisions to the STP’s attention to-date."

say what?

Zwirn never even brought his concerns to the STPs he is already a part of?

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I foresee a lawsuit coming Keith's way.

Case Opened!

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Case Opened!

For those wondering what this means, Zwirn had a habit of ending his comments with the phrase case closed, e.g.:

It was... different.

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UL hit the nail on the head in more ways than one but I best like comment about the players having a “economic interest in this.”

The statement UL has “blood on there hands” is gonna cost a couple of people a lot of money.

Plus you don’t slap a 9000 pound gorilla in the nose ie Honeywell/Resideo.

This public action is not at all good for our industry can you see the next advertisements by Simplysafe and Ring.

Case Opened (lol)

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[OCTOBER 17th UPDATE - The Interceptor Responds with 'ALL ROADS LEAD BACK TO NFPA 72']

The Interceptor Project responded to 'UL's Response' with this 4-page letter titled: ALL ROADS LEAD BACK TO NFPA 72.

In that response, Jentoft/Zwirn make the connection between UL 1023 (Standard for Household Burglar-Alarm System Units) to NFPA 72 via UL 985 (Standard for Household Fire Warning System Units).

That connection is central to The Interceptor Project's 'Blood on (UL's) Hands' allegations that state intrusion systems do not comply with:

NFPA 72 (2016) 10.16.1

An open, ground-fault, or short-circuit fault on the installation conductors of one alarm notification appliance circuit shall not affect the operation of any other alarm notification appliance circuit for more than 200 seconds regardless of whether the short-circuit fault is present during the normal or activated circuit state.

The letter contends while NFPA 72 lists 'fire system' requirements, these codes are written to reference each other, with UL 1023 citing NFPA 72 via UL 985 requirements.

The image below is included in The Interceptor Project's letter to illustrate this:

We have asked UL to respond and will post their feedback.

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Humm “Notification Appliance Circuit” what is the meaning of this definition?

To me this could be an alarm loop or sounder circuit. Does this apply to the Data bus????

any other opinions out there on this ?

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The definition of these terms is for UL, but I expect that because the keypad can also be a local alarm annunciator and be a node for sounders/strobes, the 'data bus' falls under 'Notification Appliance Circuit'.

I have asked UL for clarity!

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Any system has failure points that can be exploited by man or nature. The end result of this: Drives up everyone's cost to do business, adds more bureaucracy to the job and has little benefit. People will stop buying residential fire because the cost has now exceeded their perceived benefit. Liability and the ambulance chasers of the world have gotten way out of control at all our expense. Agree that if this was a sweep it under the rug by anyone or there are documented fatalities due to a failure to comply with standards, it's a different ballgame.

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Any bets who put the law firm up to this

what about all the other potential failure mechanisms that can happen to a security system?

Michael comments above are correct, anything made by man can be beat by man.

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New video posted by the Interceptor on a letter they sent to UL and UL's response:

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As much as I can’t stand Jeff. This video is compelling and I think he’s got a good point. We recently purchased a company that mostly sells DSC products. If his claims are true. This makes me pretty uncomfortable. The likelihood of this ever actually being an issue is ultra low. What are the chances of the keypad bus being shorted during a fire? I think it’s slim. But still.

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What are the chances a smoke detector will start the fire.....and yet they have.

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