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Comments on work from home issue / Permanent work from home OK with UL / Register for Webinars
September 25, 2023
Comment on work from home issue / Permanent work from home OK with UL from article on September 14, 2023
          In response to Mr. Harper [Sept 14 2023 article] he is absolutely a 100 % wrong in his statement. What Mr. Harper is looking at is the recent UL voting on work from home in UL 827 amongst other UL 827 changes. I was not even a member of the UL 827 technical committee when permanent work from home was passed;  I was only accepted recently.
          What I did vote YES on was the current ADDITIONAL requirements for work from home. This work was initiated in 2023 and these are additional requirements for WFH.  Most of these proposals are because of work effort put forth by TMA because of lessons learned. Here are items I voted YES on.
  *  I voted yes to require that automation systems have the ability to initiate a “duress” event from the keyboard for remote workers.
  *  I voted yes to require that a monitoring station have a physical presence in countries where they employ remote workers.
  *  I voted yes to require that remote workstations have a UPS and dual communication or a way to have enough operators to manage outages
          These are all things that tighten up remote workers, and if Mr. Harper had taken the time to call me before sending out an incorrect statement, I would have reviewed this with him.
          I should remind everyone that UL 827 is under continuous maintenance, and ANYONE can submit a proposal to change the language in 827, so for all of those that don’t like what’s in a standard you can always submit a change in the language, and it will have to be considered. These are ANSI standards and there is a defined process to make changes, and everyone has the same rights to make those changes. Anyone can also apply to be a member of the UL technical committees, and anyone can make public comments on any of the current projects on any of the UL standards.
          So instead to sending emails to Kens forum, which will do nothing more than provide some humor while having your morning coffee, get off your proverbial tail and get involved. I love the people that armchair quarterback this stuff but refuse to be part of the process and hear what others have to say and what their situation it like.
          I personally am not a big fan of work from home during non-emergency times and neither is any of the executive team at Rapid and we all have been pretty vocal about it but at the same time there are those that want it and have succeeded in getting the votes in both TMA subcommittees and UL Technical Committees. I have said this all along that market forces will determine what we end up with. I don’t speak with many dealers that like work from home but clearly there are those that are OK with it; only time will tell. This is America and we all have choices so make one.
          In Dennis Stern’s post he made a statement “why UL still allows this”. I hear this or something close to it a lot and it clearly shows that many do not know how UL and other standards bodies work, so here it is, Sorry its long but it’s important, and Dennis, this is nothing personal; it’s just a good time to clear the air.
          UL has three different units, the one we are talking about it the one that writes and publishes standards. These standards and in this case UL-827 is what is called a consensus-based standard. This means that the organization relies on all stakeholders to be part of the process. That process is defined and audited by ANSI (American Nations Standards Institute) for compliance. TMA standards are the same way.
          The way this works is anyone can submit a change to a standard, that change is considered by the UL technical committee which is made up of stakeholders and it’s voted on. The accepted changes are then published for public comments, the committee is required to consider each public comment and respond in writing to each one.
          Anyone can apply to the UL technical committee as a stakeholder, anyone can submit changes; anyone can submit a public comment.  This not “UL” allowing anything, its your peers and colleagues that are on these committees, UL gets one vote just like the rest of you.
          If you don’t like the way it is or want change, get with the program, and do the work, and it’s a lot of work but this is how it’s done and it’s done this way to make it fair and transparent to all, there are no back door deals or good ole boys making decisions.
          I have been working on standards for decades and I am normally the junior person on these, it takes a lot of work, a lot of patience. The most recent TMA standard (AVS-01) took 2.5 years to complete with the team meeting 2 times a week for most of that time. That standard had over 65 people signed up to participate, in fact no one was denied acceptance as is the case with most TMA projects.
          Standards are arguably the most important thing we have in our industry to both protect us but also to accept new ideas and technologies into it, if you care about this industry and process then get involved otherwise you are going to get what others want or need. It’s just that simple.
Morgan Hertel, VP of Technology and Innovation
Rapid Response Monitoring
Office: 877-553-4531 
Direct Cell: 909-915-8045
 Another comment
          Maybe Jeffry Zwirn should adjust his offer to debate central stations now monitoring from home and offer the challenge to the 25 members of the UL technical committee that voted to allow monitoring from home as a permanent solution.  While the pressure may have come from TMA or the large central stations, it was ultimately their decision to allow it.  If Morgan knows it is bad for our industry, ask him why it was good for others…then bad-mouth them.
          If they refuse, then “shame on you and you deserve all the push back from your dealers that you’re likely to get.”
Jordon Brown
          First of all, Morgan, thank you for your comments which I can only assume you intended as “some humor while having your morning coffee”.  I didn’t really see anything funny about your comments.  I am very clear on Rapid Response Monitoring’s position on work from home operators; I understand that it was never permitted and won’t be permitted.  I also know the reason is that Rapid thinks it increases risk of error and diminishes monitoring effectiveness. 
          You’ve taken the time to participate in an association of central stations and on a UL committee and you’re the technology officer at Rapid.  You mention that you voted in favor of a requirement that automation systems have the ability to initiate a “duress” event from the keyboard for remote workers, to require that a monitoring station have a physical presence in countries where they employ remote workers and to require that remote workstations have a UPS and dual communication or a way to have enough operators to manage outages.  I am not technical, but I don’t see how this addresses the issue of increased risk by less efficiency for at home operators.  I would think that even on what you apparently think of as a comical forum you might offer some guidelines and advice on what the added risks are and what best practices should be required for remote operators working from home.  Your vote that the central station needs to have a facility in the country where the operators are isn’t particularly helpful, or on point, and I am curious why you didn’t just say that central stations must have a facility and their operators in the United States and perhaps Canada [not sure US govt permits its facilities to be monitored by a cs in Canada, but it sure doesn’t permit overseas central stations]. 
          You could have offered suggestions on what technology should be employed for remote operators, but you didn’t offer anything other than “remote workstations have a UPS and dual communication or a way to have enough operators to manage outages” which I doubt Jeff Zwirn would find sufficient or satisfactory [though I don’t want to put words in his mouth]. 
          One other thing.  I suppose that anyone in the industry can seek appointment to a UL committee and make a difference.  What you may not know is that commenting on this forum not only provides the comic relief you mentioned, but gets your comment read by thousands of people in the alarm industry, daily.  So if you want your opinion heard, having it read by 5000 to 7000 or more daily isn’t a bad start.  Thanks as always for your contribution and I assure you that those reading it got more than comic relief.
          Jordon is correct.  As of now not a single central station that favors remote operators working from home has signed up for the Central Station Webinar Series which starts on October 17, 2023 [register below].  Not one UL committee member who voted to approve any form of remote operators working from home has accepted Jeff Zwirn’s invitation to debate and none have contributed to this forum; not one person has offered justification.

          Central stations who have permitted or now permit work from home operators should be prepared to explain at least:
  *  what technology was engaged to ensure reliable connections
  *  what policies were imposed on the home environment and how was that policed
  *  why the policy was implemented [may have to admit it was money saving as well as impossible to find operators at any pay scale]
  *  what is experience with operator performance, dealer complaints, and were there any miss handled signals resulting in actual loss or end user dissatisfaction resulting in cancellation of the account by the customer.
          And it’s worse.  I don’t see how central stations can remain silent on a policy that permits work from home.  The “issue” is front and center at this point; it’s sure to be addressed in the Webinar Series. 
          Dealers, you are being remiss by permitting your central station to keep you in the dark on its policy; worse lying about its policy; and not offering any information on what technical measures are in place to ensure there is no increased risk.  If there is increased risk has your central station agreed to waive or limit your indemnification of the central station obligation?  Don’t you think it should?  Or, do you think it’s OK for your central station to implement the money saving, cost cutting, work from home policy, and at the same time increase the dealer’s risk?
          Find out why your central station isn’t participating in the central station webinar series, what it’s hiding and then ask yourself, why haven’t you switched.

         With all the discussion, and dissatisfaction, about management software our first webinar series is by software providers offering comprehensive software programs for the alarm industry.
Title:  Fieldhub: All In One Operations and Accounting Software For Security and Fire Integrators
When:  October 3, 2023  noon ET
Why attend:  FieldHub is a comprehensive software program that integrates proposals, planning, warehouse inventory management, scheduling, field technician mobile applications, invoicing, accounting, tracking systems and devices, creation and linkage of a central station account, and much more
Who should attend: managers and owners
Presented by: Miles Fawcett, Founder and CEO of FieldHub Inc. 202.417.8196;
Hosted by:  Ken Kirschenbaum, Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Register here:
Title:  Micro Key Solutions
When:  October 4, 2023  noon ET
Why attend:  Robust Accounting and Monitoring Solutions for the Security Alarm Industry delivering user-friendly, seamlessly integrated accounting, service, and central station monitoring software that centralizes your data, integrates service tracking, and streamlines operator communications. 
Who should attend: managers and owners
Presented by: Victoria Ferro, President, Micro Key Solutions, 407-870-0040;

Hosted by:  Ken Kirschenbaum, Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Register here:

Title:  Innovative Business Software:  operating software for central stations
When:  October 5, 2023  noon ET
Why attend:  Innovative Business Software is central station solution to smooth operation and integration
Who should attend: managers and owners
Presented by: Jen Kolind, President and CEO of Innovative Business Software Inc. 469 556 2822;  
Hosted by:  Ken Kirschenbaum, Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Register here:
Title: WorkHorseSCS
When: October 11, 2023 noon ET
Why attend: 
Alarm business operating software solution for Sales, Field Service, Customer Service, RMR (Recurring Monthly Revenue), Electronic contracts and Digital Signatures, all conveniently housed in one unified platform. Streamlines your alarm company's processes with Single Point of Data Entry solution. Integrates with over 40 Central Stations, along with leading platforms like, Alula, resideo, SecureCom, and SecureNet.
Who should attend: Managers and owners
Presented by: Steven Hayes, 941.229.8200
Hosted by: Ken Kirschenbaum, Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Register here:

Central Stations series: Why You Should Be Monitored By Our CS
Hear from the leading central stations and “Why you should be monitored by” that central station.  The topic of remote operator monitoring from outside the central station facility and the dynamics that issue presents is sure to come up.  The question you need to be asking is why isn’t your central station participating and why are you still using your central station if it’s not participating?
October 17, 2023 noon ET, Emergency 24
Registration Link:

October 18, 2023 noon ET, Statewide Monitoring Corp
Registration Link:

October 19, 2023 noon ET, Legacy Security Services
Registration Link:

October 24, 2023 noon ET
National Monitoring Center
Registration Link:

October 25, 2023 noon ET, Dynamark Monitoring
Registration Link:

October 26, 2023 noon ET,  COPS Monitoring    Registration Link:

October 31, 2023 noon ET, Rapid Response Monitoring Center

Registration Link:

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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