Don't miss tomorrow's FREE seminar on alarm contracts in Uniondale, NY, Marriott Hotel at 4:30pm and stay for MBFAA meeting -
Metropolitan Burglar and Fire Alarm Assoc of New York.  May 15, 2014 4:30 to 6:30 PM at Marriot Hotel, Uniondale, NY.  Comprehensive analysis and comparison of the Standard Form All in One contracts.  All alarm dealers welcome.  No charge for attendance. Dinner and MBFAA meeting will follow the seminar.  For more info and to RSVP contact Alan Glasser, Executive Director of MBFAA at 718-894-6712 or

Follow up comment on ECV from April 22, 2014 article
Mr. Kirschenbaum,
    You published Keith Jentoff’s statement over two weeks ago that contained incorrect information regarding alarm ordinances in the NW.  I'd like to present the whole story.
    It is interesting that Keith Jentoff would attempt to educate me on the alarm ordinances of the Northwest, in particular, Washington, since I am the individual who was involved in the creation and promotion of these ordinances.  These ordinances are based on the employment of the Best Practices, of which, ECV is the cornerstone.  All of these ordinance have been among the most successful in the nation in terms of false alarm reduction – all having a sustained false alarm reduction rate of between 60 – 85%. 
    Keith Jentoff makes this statement:  Unfortunately, many of the alarm ordinances in the Northwest, including Washington State, do in fact allow for video verification to be used instead of ECV; they considered video a replacement for ECV when they drafted the ordinances.
    If Jentoff’s statement was true, it would be unfortunate, but the unfortunate fact here is that Keith Jentoff is loose with his.  In fact, every new ordinance passed since 2004 in this area requires ECV – no alternates - no exceptions. Of these jurisdictions, in addition to ECV and the other Best Practices, four of them also have a sequential alarm requirement. Those four jurisdictions accept video information in lieu of the second alarm signal, i.e., two separate alarm signals OR one alarm signal and a video clip.  They have the added caveat that the video must show criminal activity.
    It is also an interesting fact that, of the three jurisdictions with the best sustained results (80+% reduction in unnecessary police dispatches) only one of the three has a sequential alarm requirement.  That fact alone, I believe, demonstrates the significant impact ECV has where it is employed and strictly enforced.
Ron Haner
Alarm Center, Inc.
         I'm not sure I get the issue.  I don't think anyone disputes that alarm verification has reduced false alarms.  Since most alarms are user error while someone is home a call to the house before dispatching will obviously cut down on false alarms that require police or fire dept response.  It seems to me that it makes little difference how alarms are verified.  The possibilities presently appear to be limited by technology to telephone call to premises or other call number, texting, video confirmation, audio confirmation, runner or guard service.  So what's the beef?
comments on DIY and discounted monitoring - one alarm co fights back  from May 13, 2014 article
    In reference to servicing accounts which are monitored by another alarm company or discount central stations, the answer is obvious,our firm will not perform the service. The first question we ask the prospective subscriber is the status of their monitoring situation. We explain the liability involved and also how we cannot professionally protect them without full knowledge and control of the components of their system.This can lead to a sales call which can lead to additional work and additional recurring revenue. In reference to the question of monitoring cost, a 15 minute lesson to the prospective client with an emphasis on service support and the overall concept of how important that support is to the integrity and operation of the system, will result in a successful transaction. The last part of the equation is to sign up the new client with one of your contracts.
Ralph Ovale, ,Pres.
Vantage Burglar Alarm Corp.
New York City
    re Tony's comment from May 13, 2014 article
    Rather than be angry about a competitor monitoring an account that calls you to service it has a very simple solution.  Battery $XX.XX  (If I quoted a price that may be price fixing?)
    Take that call and charge a retail markup on the battery, trip charge equal to round trip travel of man and truck marked up a healthy percentage, add to that the on site labor charges to do a full diagnostic work up of panel, charger and connection. (You don't want a battery failure within 1 week because the charger was not putting out....)
    Lastly use Kens contract to have the customer sign off that all was done to their satisfaction and they pay COD, NO OPEN ACCOUNT.  Smile and say thank you (Especially if this turned out to be a nice fill in call between regular clients.)  Always smile when you talk on the phone. If the client invites you to service knowing that you will make your profit fine. If he declines, you have not wasted your time and you can still smile and have not offended anyone or shown up  as a poor sport.. it'S BUSINESS......
    From outside in the cold,
 Joel Kent
FBN Security
    The DIY concept is certainly controversial, but there are companies that do it well like Protect America out of Texas.  They do not really “break” the normal business model.  They preprogram and ship the alarm system to the property owner who then installs it themselves with the help of a competent tech support team.  Other than the install, however, they follow the basic RMR business model (and do not monitor for $10).  The customer pays a reasonable amount for the traditional monitoring services.
    I think that the real threat to the traditional RMR business model is not the DIY but the Monitor-it-Yourself (MIY) business model.  The interactive technology revolution that has already overwhelmed the alarm industry opens this door.  Every user of and TotalConnect are MIY at some level.  They view their own cameras and receive smartphone alerts directly from their alarm system – without sending the signals to the central station.  It is as simple as throwing a switch for these “services” to deliver MIY to the end users.  Any one of these services can easily migrate to MIY.
    A recent patent on Google  describes how the MIY users can simply push a button to send their alarms directly to the Police PSAP, and get rid of the Central Station altogether.  Google already paid over $3 billion for NEST (with the FREE MIY app) and it is easy to imagine them moving into MIY alarms.
    While I agree with Tony Barlow’s comments that service, such as battery replacement, is a differentiator in combatting the DIY.  I think that ultimately the Central Station is the differentiator that will combat the MIY, the real threat.  Law enforcement want and need a professional and reliable filter to prevent needless dispatches at their 911 centers.  The new alarm technologies of video verification give Central Stations a valuable tool to be more valuable and provide priority police response.  Law enforcement response initiated and coordinated by a professional Central Station is a service even more valuable than the battery change mentioned by Todd.
Keith Jentoft, President
    In reference to servicing DIY and discount monitoring stations, it also is good to let the consumer know that it would be illegal for you to aid an unlicensed alarm monitoring company. In Arizona, any business engaged in alarm monitoring is required to be licensed by the Arizona Board of Technical registration, if not licensed by the Arizona Registrar of Contractors. By engaging in servicing their accounts, you would be aiding the unlicensed company. Who wants a law breaker securing their property? It is also good to let them know that you provide service for a monthly fee and monitoring is just an added bonus of the services your provide. Providing private guard response is something these discount services do not provide. What good is a call to the police, if the police cannot provide a reasonable response? It doesn't matter if you are paying only $1 per month, if no one shows up, you've waisted your $1. 
Roger D. Score (President)
Arizona Alarm Dealers Association
    I agree with Tony.   My policy has always been that if we do not monitor the system  we cannot provide service.
John Mathis
Security Solutions, LLC.
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Speaking Engagements 


Metropolitan Burglar and Fire Alarm Assoc of New York.  May 15, 2014 4:30 to 6:30 PM at Marriot Hotel, Uniondale, NY.  Comprehensive analysis and comparison of the Standard Form All in One contracts.  All alarm dealers welcome.  No charge for attendance. Dinner and MBFAA meeting will follow the seminar.  For more info and to RSVP contact Alan Glasser, Executive Director of MBFAA at 718-894-6712 or


Northeast Security & Systems Contractors Expo  Thursday, May 22, 2014 10 am to 5 PM at  Royal Plaza Trade Center,  Marlborough, MA.  registration  Presentation on Alarm Law issues and Q&A will be at 2 PM.  For more info contact Gary Spaulding, NEACC President

Alarm Association of Greater St. Louis.   September 16, 2014.  at Tech Electronics HQs office at 6437 Manchester  Ave, St. Louis, MO 63139.  Meeting is from 11:45 – 1:30  Video conference presentation starting at 12:15 CST.  For more information or to register contact Tony Drago

Alabama Alarm Association.  AAA's Fall Meeting and Trade Show - October 21, 2014 from 3 to 5 PM at DoubleTree Hotel 808 South 20th Street Birmingham, AL 35205  for more info contact AAA Executive Director:  (205) 933-9000 


Electronic Security Summit for 2014.  October 22-24, 2014  at the landmark Broadmoor Hotel. Colorado Springs, CO.  For more information contact Alexander J. Quirin, CEO & Managing Partner, Advisory Summit Providers, LLC.,  (786) 999-9738