Don’t miss today’s webinar - Sign up now

Part 1: Building Your Marketing Foundation
Thursday, October 8th, 2015  from 12:00 – 1:00 pm EST
Register at:
    This is in response to Detective Robinson's comments in the Sept 30 2015 article.
    There is no scientific or technical rational for selecting and using non-listed power supplies, ever; or a power supply that is UL Listed and supervised, but whereby the installer unilaterally fails to connect to the respective AC and low battery outputs. Given that, it is the duty of the alarm contractor to select the proper products for each of their installations, and ensure that they are listed for their intended purpose in accordance with the National Electrical Code [NFPA 70]. 
In addition, many in our industry are using [power supplies] which are not listed for their intended use and/or purpose. Simply put, under the fact pattern which you presented, these actions demonstrate a conscious indifference to the safety and security of the subscriber; and law enforcement as well; in that they create a higher propensity for false alarms and other irregularities subsumed in the alarm system. 
    Against the foregoing backdrop, since 1980, I have forensically investigated alarm systems nationally, and I too have unfortunately witnessed the same improper practices by those who do not understand, and/or do not care to understand, the criticality of acting in this improper manner. 
The reason for adding auxiliary power supplies onto a security system, is that the current draw of the system exceeds the current output requirements of the control panel set; so to that end it is completely acceptable to introduce additional power supplies into the matrix of the security system. However, and as duly noted, the equipment selected shall meet the mandated compliance requirements of NFPA 70. Absent following same, the installer has violated the National Electrical Code and nationally recognized industry standards and practices.
    As to the repeated failures to identify system defects and irregularities by alarm company technicians; I find this to be based on many alarm installing company’s utter disregard in ensuring proper training and supervision for each of their employees. Similarly, it needs to be provided on a regular basis.  Stated differently, consistent training is mission critical, and unless and until alarm company professionals focus on same, the results which you posit are not likely to change any time soon. 
System transformers should never be plugged into power strips, they need to be connected to un-switched outlets and be installed in such a way that they are restrained from being accidentally unplugged. Similarly, connecting to a GFCI, is not an acceptable methodology either. Instead, the alarm contractor should contractually put the onus on the subscriber to provide them with designated electrical outlets at each of the locations where AC power is required. 
    With regards to manufacturer’s instructions on where transformers should be installed, I know of no equipment manufacturer who codifies what you have found during your inspection, whereby the transformers are on switched outlets and/or on power cords. Having said that, no nationally recognized testing laboratory , such as UL, or any would ever knowingly accept a product for an accepted listing if these instructions stated otherwise. This practice defies alarm science and logic. 
    As to your statement with backup rechargeable batteries connected to two separate charging circuits from both a control panel set and an auxiliary power supply; this create two serious problems; one being overcharging the batteries, and secondly no detection and/or supervision occurring if one of the batteries fails, and/or is unable to maintain a charge. Alternatively, if the installer wants to achieve longer standby time, and as long as the equipment can support same, additional batteries can be installed in parallel within each of the respective pieces of equipment. The tech arguing that the system was “supervising” all three of the batteries demonstrates his gross incompetence.  
    It is axiomatic to me that the profusion of serious defects and irregularities which you have witnessed firsthand, is completely consistent with licensing laws in your state needing to be overhauled and/or revised; as the alarm company qualifier and/or the alarm company owner should be held financially accountable for this type of conduct. Otherwise, how will you change this behavior?
    Detective Robinson, to the extent that an alarm company takes over an existing alarm system and the system is flawed, the new alarm company either needs to correct the system, [and charge the customer for same] or they need to pass on being the alarm contractor for this account; since there is no right way to do something wrong, and no alarm company should ever knowingly connect to and/or monitor an alarm system which is deficient. 
    From a forensic perspective, alarm companies can help dramatically limit their liability by purchasing Kens contracts; and as stated previously, everyone who is part of this forum should immediately purchase each of the respective contracts and documentation that applies to their business from Ken now.  However, it is important to note that if an alarm contractor believes that no matter what they do, and/or do not do will always protect them from liability, it is simply denial on their part. Especially, if their improper acts were identified by an Authority Having Jurisdiction before the loss occurs; it was documented by the AHJ, and they [the alarm contractor] were required to comply with the AHJ; but they still failed to act, and as a result of same, the protected premises suffers an undetected loss.
    The business of security is a serious one, so if you do not pay attention to doing things right the first time, and as to your liability; it will pay attention to you. For help on how to remarkably lower your loss potential and liability, and provide your subscribers with the most advanced security systems available; my peer reviewed book The Alarm Science Manual™ is a mission critical resource and tool to help alarm and central station professionals achieve this goal.  Subscribers to this forum who want to purchase The Alarm Science Manual™ can call my offices directly and receive a discount.
Jeffrey D. Zwirn
IDS Research and Development, Inc. 
www.alarmexpert .com
                        WEBINARS - free [these webinars will not be recorded]   

MARKETING YOUR ALARM COMPANY presented in a 3 series webinar
Five Marketing Methods That Provide Results, Time and Time Again!
Presented by David Morgan of Security Dealer Marketing
Which marketing methods have worked for over 100 security companies nationwide?  According to the 80/20 rule, 80% of results are generated from 20% of your activities. This 3-part webinar series will focus on the 20%, or the 5 marketing methods every dealer and integrator must be using to generate results. Best yet, each one of these 5 marketing methods are all 100% trackable.

All webinars will be from 12:00 – 1:00 pm EST

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

Part 1: Building Your Marketing Foundation
Thursday, October 8th, 2015  from 12:00 – 1:00 pm EST
Register at:

Part 2:  Pull Marketing Strategy
Tuesday, October 13th, 2015  from 12:00 – 1:00 pm EST
Register at:

Part 3: Fine Tuning Your Marketing Machine
Thursday, October 15th, 2015  from 12:00 – 1:00 pm EST
Register at:

About Security Dealer Marketing:
For over 4 years Security Dealer Marketing, a full-service marketing agency for the security industry, has helped dealers, integrators and industry manufacturers nationwide gain market share, expand to new markets and penetrate new verticals successfully! We have helped over 100 security companies nationwide. We know what works and what doesn’t, from experience!  We’ve been trusted by many of the industries biggest names, speak frequently at industry conferences on marketing for security companies and have been a featured monthly columnist, Marketing Madmen in SDM Magazine since January of 2014.