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Elevator monitoring / best practices for central station
April 13, 2017
Next webinar April 18, 2017: See below for details.
TitleAll You Need To Know About Alarm dealer program contracts - getting in and getting out
Register here
Elevator monitoring
    We are a central station that provides elevator monitoring for our dealers.  I have a situation where a young boy pressed an elevator button and the installed system did not work properly.  In the end we were able to communicate with the boy and get the necessary assistance to him.
    However, after contacting the installing dealer associated with the account, the installing dealer stated they do not have any elevator accounts at that location.  Therefore our monitoring station now has to deal with an emergency elevator communications issue where no one is taking responsibility for the system.  In the mean time we could still be receiving emergency communication signals from a known faulty system.
    I guess the real concern, as always, where does our monitoring station's liability begin and where does it end in this type of situation?  Is our monitoring station responsible for going around the Dealer whose name is associated with Subscriber's account and telling the subscriber they must get the system fixed and that the account will be suspended until the system is in proper working Condition?
    The initial concern I have is that you apparently are monitoring an elevator call station without an Elevator Monitoring Contract in place.  Providing monitoring service for any type of signal without a contract is a mistake.  If you were relying on the dealer to have a proper contract in place that is another mistake, because too many dealers don't have a contract and even more don't have a proper contract.  The Standard Form Elevator Monitoring Contract is the proper contract for elevator monitoring.  
    Elevator monitoring starts with two way audio initiated by the call button in the elevator.  But elevator monitoring can include other system malfunctions as well, which are typically communicated to the elevator company to provide service to the elevator.  Alarm companies do not usually service elevators other than the alarm or communication devices.
    You have now identified an elevator monitoring system and you don't know who the dealer is.  That tells me that you're not getting paid for the monitoring services; otherwise you'd know who the dealer was or at least you'd be able to convince the dealer that it's that dealer's account.  In your case you should definitely contact the subscriber and let them know that you had a call and that you are going to discontinue service.  You should pick a date and time certain to terminate service.  Check with the AHJ [building department or fire department and find out if they get notice if you terminate monitoring services in the elevator.   If you want to enter into a direct relationship with the subscriber then get an Elevator Monitoring contract signed.
best practices for central station
    I'm curious to know, if after all of these years and all of the questions and answers provided; is there a "Best practices" for monitoring stations, security dealer and Subscriber compiled somewhere? 
    I'm sure you get the same or similar type questions over and over.
    I do get a lot of repeat or similar questions and issues.  Usually my response is consistent, but sometimes further elaboration is necessary.
    Best practices for a central station are detailed in NFPA, UL and other recognized industry independent organizations.  There are established guidelines for how the central station is to respond to different type of signals.  Some guidelines require immediate dispatch [fire or CO], some permit a short delay and perhaps some form of verification [burglary], some call for notification with less priority [loss of AC, low battery or other supervisory signals] and some may call for no response at all.
    In my opinion the best practice a central station can follow would be to compile a written policy of how it will respond to every conceivable signal it monitors.  That written policy should be provided to the dealer, who in turn should provide it to the subscriber.  This can be accomplished for all dealers and most subscribers by referring the subscriber to the central station's website where the policy is posted.
    Once you have a policy in place all you need to do is follow it.
    The policy, incidentally, should be preceded by certain conditions that every central station should insist on.  This would include:

  • copy of dealer's license in jurisdiction where monitoring is requested
  • copy of dealer's certificate of incorporation or other business organization papers
  • copy of dealer's form contract(s) for monitoring services
  • copy of dealer's E&O policy endorsement with certificate naming central station as additional insured
  • copy of dealer's contract with EACH subscriber [a full signed copy]
  • dealer's written report detailing the type of system and every zone identified
  • test signals from every zone
  • if a central station takes over a dealer with lots of subscribers, start at the top.  Too many accounts and too much trouble is no excuse for taking adequate measures to protect your business.
  • you should have a Dealer Agreement signed by the dealer
  • unless the dealer is using a Standard Form Agreement [the Kirschenbaum Contract TM assures the quality of the contract] you should have a Three Party Central Station Agreement signed by the subscriber and dealer.

WEBINARS:  Sign up for any or all of the webinars that interest you.
FREE Webinar Series "All You Need To Know About" alarm industry issues. 
Register for one or all.  Each presentation scheduled for half hour to hour.  Not recorded.

TitleAll You Need To Know About Alarm dealer program contracts - getting in and getting out
When: April 18, 2017 noon EST
Where: Your computer for power point, live video and call in on computer or phone
What will be covered: General discussion about honeypots/trappings of dealer program contracts and how difficult they are to get out of. 
Who should attend: Alarm company owners.
Presented by: James Babbitt, Esq. General Counsel, RMR Capital Group; 952 467 8610
Register here
TitleAll You Need to know about Internet security and why is it relevant for the alarm industry 
When: April 25,  2017 noon EST
Where: Your computer for power point, live video and call in on computer or phone
What will be covered: Discussion of securing Internet devices.  Attacks by Mirai and other botnets and disruption to Internet services around the world made possible because of the millions of poorly secured cameras, DVRs and other installed network devices. 
Who should attend: Alarm company owners, general and technical managers
Presented by: Securifi, a leading router and smart home hub company, soon to be offering its own comprehensive Total Security Solution (Monitored Security + IoT Security + Parental Controls + Malware Blocking) to the alarm industry.  Rohit Somani    855 969 7328  
Register here:


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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301
516 747 6700
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