I have been contacted by a potential customer for a camera proposal to cover areas outisde of his house.
    One of the cameras would cover the swimming pool.  However, sometimes "skinny dipping" goes on, so it was requested that a disable switch for that camera be placed in the dressing area.  I have installed a disable switch for another residential customer in the past for a camera in a specific area in the event the family room was used for sleeping if guests stayed over.  Seemed to make sense to me at the time. Let's see what our the alarm industry expert says!
Mark D. Withers
A B E Alarm Service
Allentown, PA
    The camera is viewing the pool, not dressing area.  The cut off switch is in the dressing area.  That is fine.  If the pool is at a nudist colony or place where regular naked swimming takes place [like my backyard] then you might want to be sure the cameras are open and obvious, not covert.  There ordinarily should be no expectation of privacy in a back yard pool, but that could depend on the layout of the yard and pool. 
    Other than specifically designated areas in a statute, such as bathrooms, dressing rooms, etc., you should be guided by common sense and expectations of privacy.
    While it’s true that there are laws requiring a multitude of hard wired smokes in new houses, and many of them are interconnected, I would never connect them to central station reporting through an audible device. Nor would I connect anything else that’s not listed for the detectors and for the application. I believe all of the manufacturers that provide interconnected single station smoke alarms also sell a model that has a relay output. Just change out the one closest to the panel with the one that has an aux relay and wire that into the alarm system. There’s no need to use a Rube Goldberg method, and get yourself into trouble. There are enough pitfalls even when doing the right thing and working diligently to do your best. Using the same make and series of smoke alarm keeps things legal and in accordance with how they are designed to work.  
Mitch Cohen
Bric Security
    I agree GOVERNMENT should not be in the position of monitoring alarms.
    Having been a ranking officer in a municipal department and supervisor of the communications division that did monitor alarms I can tell you that the customer (citizen) is usually short changed in the process.
    Quite often there is a malaise or lackadaisical attitude about alarms. The dispatchers think of themselves as doing the work for which the alarm company is paid. They do not do the enhanced call verification, if they are too busy to notify keyholders in a timely manner TOO BAD.  In their defense they are usually shorthanded and in crisis mode. They SHOULD NOT HAVE TO TRIAGE AN OFFICER IN TROUBLE CALL AND A BURGLARY ALARM at the same time.
    Many times the monitoring station will verify and NEVER DISPATCH an alarm that is proven false.
    With video verification and specialized monitoring techniques such as Video Verification, will the proper attention to detail be paid?  In all honesty, I do not think that any working dispatcher can answer that in the affirmative.
I am in the shade now and cooling off.....
Joel Kent
    Does HB 3663, which grants immunity for  “NEXT GENERATION 9–1–1 SERVICES”, have any bearing on this discussion? I have attached the pertinent points.
Rob Gerhardt
Group Gerhardt, LLC
    Those governments using the 911 service will be immune, however I don't think that the 911 service contemplates the governmental agency providing the monitoring serive directly, and if it does I'm not sure if it's just the 911 side of the service that gets the immunity or the governmental central station setting up the 911 direct calls.  Might be something to watch, we'll wait and see.


                                                    Webinar Notice

We will be presenting a series of 4 webinars [3 are left].  These interactive webinars will be presented live and there will be time alloted to questions and answers.  Noted alarm/security/fire expert Jeffrey Zwirn will present these webinars.  There is no chargefor the webinars and I suggest you register as soon as we post the dates.  Might be good time to pick up Jeff's comprehensive Alarm Science Manual: click here to get the book All webinars will be from 12 noon to 1 PM EST

REGISTER TODAY FOR ALL THE WEBINARS [register for each one separately]: 

July 28: Connect to Existing System Installed by Others: What Are Your Duties? & Ambush, Panic and Holdup Systems-The Customers Lifeline to Safety and Security or Not?

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July 30: Residential Fire Alarm Systems-Life Safety or Fatal Flaws
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August 4: Central and Remote Station Monitoring Instructions- Are your instructions safe or foreseeably dangerous?
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