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Comments on smoke / co detectors


     I am a Fire inspector and an licensed alarm installer. Those

pesky smoke detectors SAVES LIVES. I tell my customers, when they call about

beeping, that my system smokes don't beep on low battery, and to go to the area of the beep and they will find a battery installed smoke detector. Also go to

the key pad and read what it says, it should say low battery. If they cant

find some one to install a new 9v battery  call me and ill get it fixed for

them. The system wired to make the I3s all beep  DOES NOT Meet code for smokes installing in new residential construction.

C Copeland



    I was just reading your latest post in regards to all the CO &

120v smoke detectors.  I offer my clients a laminated form that explains all

of the things the alarm system will do in case of an alarm or fault along

with the actions they should take. I post it adjacent to the control panel

if possible.  This has helped reduce those 2am calls about beeping keypads

and smokes.  I have on their "what to do when the 120v smokes start beeping"

as a line item and let them know we can support them in the battery changes.

There are some things we all have to be aware of and that is the listed life

of a 120v smokes and carbons I believe for most of them is 5 years. There is

a new 120v smoke and CO out called a Stealth, which has a 10 year battery

and life rating.  Nice looking too.  They are supposed to be changed when

they reach their life expectancy. Where I have the edge on this, is holding

both an alarm and electrical license, the latter being much more difficult

and costly here on Long Island due to the amount of them I must apply for

and take tests for.

        The rule in NY according to the Fire Marshall's office in regards to

smoke detectors is that they must be "hard wired".  This is what allows our

industry to install smokes and CO's in lieu of 120v detectors.  All the

protection we provide home owners from 12v to 120v protection devices can

never stop them from disabling the devices and or system though. 

    Once again, thanks so much for offering these posts, they have been

extremely valuable to me

Stephen Merola



Comments on false alarms



    All of the responses to FALSE ALARMS were well thought and valid.  The assessment of determining what is happening at open and close time is the most critical.

    Video recorders disguised as motion detectors with a 16G SD card would provide valuable insight into what is happening. (User distraction? Talking on a phone or texting while leaving?) Simply recover the video after the event and view what is taking place.

    In commercial systems it is the  "IT'S NOT MY JOB" syndrome tht usually is at the root of the problem. Unless the proper operation of the security system is clearly presented as a job responsibility than nobody except a techie is going to listen, care, or understand what happens when they push AWAY on the keypad.

    I am not a fan of TECHNOLOGY replacing RESPONSIBILITY but perhaps an ACCESS CONTROL SYSTEM with first user in AUTO DISARMING. Scheduled auto disarm during the work week at a specific time. Or other solutions may work.


User caused unnecessary dispatches are the most prevalent cause of frustration of alarm dealers and police agencies. Wether the alarm dealer wants to take the point in helping to solve the problem or not, we will always be the CAUSE of the problem because we installed a "DEFECTIVE" system.....

    Making these problems go away will distinguish you and your company in the eyes of your customer and even sometimes the responding agency.

    SIAC is a great resource to the dealer and the police in helping to eliminate the unnecessary dispatch issue.

 Joel Kent

FBN Security Co

Windsor CT



    Please note that this is the time to think "outside the box," and to use many of the opportunities we have today with both old and new security concepts, and new technologies.  Of course without knowing the details of the particulars we (both consultants and dealer integrators) can we advise and recomend.  My mind has run wild with thoughts on how to resolve some of the issues such as this.  They may be different but not new when it comes to solving the problem as long as it is not a "falsing device"-and even that can be overcome.

M Winger

Martin Security Engineering



Comments on Disarming Alarm system:


    Another thing to consider is the message you put on the keypad.  I have seen, in the past, a company sued for a message on a keypad in the lobby of a business that indicated the company needed to pay their bill.  Since it was in a public place I think that information was taken as offensive to the business or hurtful to them.  You also wouldn't want an intruder to know the system is not operational.

 John Elmore

Security By Elmore Inc


Hi Ken;


        I always love it when a subscriber figures that they will pull a fast

one, like letting their monitoring go several months into arrears, and

then sign on with another alarm company.  I experienced just that

scenario not too long ago.  Here is what I did.  It was a commercial

fire alarm in a tavern.  The AHJ required them to have the system

monitored by a central monitoring station.  This tavern owner thought

that she would pull a fast one on me and dragged me along for several

months without payment.  I was reluctant at first to disconnect her

system from the central station because of a liability issue.  Finally,

after several registered letters that were returned "unsigned for."  I

sent her a last bill, and faxed it to the tavern as well.  When the due

date came and went, I did the following:  I called up the account and

removed the central monitoring station numbers.  That would generate a

communication failure message as soon as the panel tried to send its

daily test.  While online with the panel, I "locked it out" so no one

else could just take over the account.  If this woman wanted it

unlocked, she was going to have to pay the amount that she was in

arrears, plus the balance of the monitoring agreement. I decided to give

the next contractor a heads up as well.  I put a message on the console

that stated "deadbeat does not pay bill."  There may have been a

liability involved there, but it didn't come back to bite me on the

butt.  And lastly, I wrote a letter and also called the AHJ to alert

them to the status of the fire alarm.  I lost the account and didn't get

paid, but I got a million dollars worth of satisfaction.

    John from NJ

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