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More comments on the ADT fire death / check out concierge program- click here
January 26, 2019
comments on the ADT fire death from January 23, 2019 article
            If your customer is in a jurisdiction that has fines for false alarms and you dispatch on a "tamper" or other type of trouble event resulting in a potential several hundred dollar fine for excessive alarms what do you think your customer would say?  There is a difference between a "tamper" and an "alarm tamper" signal. 
            Alarm tamper signals mean that the alarm system is armed and the tamper is triggered and should be handled as an alarm.  A routine tamper should be handled without police dispatch unless the customer specifically requests this in advance in my opinion.
            I hope your opinion is based on NFPA rules, and not your gut.
More comments
            Do the instructions to the central station to change the signal definition from Trouble to Burglary create a new duty that is not contemplated by the contract?
            It was the extra duty duty created by the central station operator in the Monitronics case in Georgia that lead to the jury verdict being upheld on appeal if memory serves me right. 
Bart Didden
            I agree with “name withheld “ in terms of how my central would have responded.  The tamper would have been treated as a burglary alarm and if we hadn’t reached the client, we would have dispatched.  I’m not sure, though, I understand your comments in response.
            Of course fire must be carefully programmed and monitored as fire and burglary programmed and monitored as burglary.  But this client did not have a fire alarm.  Dispatching the PD would have gotten help to the victim more quickly, but it’s not likely it would have prevented his unfortunate death.  Do you believe ADT would not have been litigated had they made a police response on the tamper?  And no, I would not sleep well knowing a person died while we date mute on a tamper alarm.
Jean Levenson 
            Here are the facts in the ADT case:
    “Sometime during the early morning hours of August 15, 2016, an accidental home fire from the kitchen stove began at decedent’s residence. Decedent’s home was equipped with a security system, which Defendant sold and monitored. At 1:30 a.m., Defendant received a “sensor tamper” alert for “glass break” in the dining room. Defendant did not call any individual or emergency service at that time. At 1:32 a.m., Defendant received an alert for “expansion module failure.” The expansion module is the key pad and system center located by the front door of the home. Defendant did not call any individual or emergency services at that time. At approximately 1:43 a.m., Defendant twice attempted to call decedent, but was unable to reach her. At 1:49 a.m., Defendant then attempted to call the next call-back number, that of decedent’s grandmother, but was also unable to reach her. The caller identification label associated with Defendant’s number is an unlisted number and does not identify Defendant as the caller. Between 2:01 a.m. and 2:04 a.m., Defendant again attempted to call decedent’s number and the next call-back number. Defendant was again unable to reach either party. Around 2:04 a.m., Defendant “fully cleared” the alarms.”
            I think ADT was sued because of its advertising.  The Plaintiff alleged [and it was undoubtedly true, that ADT’s website made certain statements regarding the proficiency of ADT’s alarm and services.  You can read the statements by reading the case, posted on our website under Kansas Leading cases.
            So,  the issue wasn’t treating the alarm signal as a fire alarm signal.  That topic was one I raised as being essential to proper monitoring.
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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
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