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Contract update suggestions / No service contract signed but insurance demanded 
February 16, 2022
Webinars Schedule: See below for details and Registration
TODAY's Webinar:  why use Disclaimer Notice and join Concierge Program

February 16, 2022:  why use Disclaimer Notice and join Concierge Program
February 22, 2022:  common legal issues in buy-sell deals
February 24, 2022:  issues buying or selling alarm company and broker's roll
March 1, 2022:        All-in-One Operations and Accounting Software for Security Integrators
March 8, 2022.         Recruiting, hiring and retaining field talent
Contract update suggestions
          In the 2-3-22 Newsletter, you asked for suggestions updates to the contracts. 
Some of us believe a better disclosure is required in the contract, following several decades of technology evolution, evolution of municipal law and evolution of trends.  New customers are sold by wide variety of sales sources.  They go on-line with a wide variety of expectations that many third-party monitoring firms cannot, or will not deliver, causing unnecessary conflict, early attrition and dilution of RMR market value. 
          There should be clear disclosure about expectation of police response… on demand, slow and no response; or expectation of alternate sources of site response.  
          Ken, I would stay away from “false alarm issues” because of recent conflicting definitions and causes of “false alarms” vs “UPR/unnecessary police response”, and who is the perpetrator of the unlawful act.
Suggestions by:
Lee Jones
Support Services Group
          The Standard Form Agreement addresses police response and the possibility of delayed or no response.  How is it addressed?  The contracts are clear that the alarm company has no control over First Responders, and the subscriber is obligated to make payment under the contract even if First Responders aren’t responding.
          False alarm need to be addressed, and they are in the Standard Form Agreements.  Well, we don’t need to get into a debate about is a false alarm and was there a false alarm, because all we care about is 1) fines and 2) excessive signals.  Both issues are squarely addressed in the Standard Form Agreements
          The Standard Form Agreements are all 2022 updated.  Time to update your contracts.
          Thanks for the suggestions, but no cigar.
No service contract signed but insurance demanded
          We have a customer that pays $2,000.00 per month for his service contract but refuses to sign your contract but rather issues us his purchase order. Now with no contract in place I know we are leaving ourselves open to litigation but the real issue just came up, they are asking us for a Certificate of Insurance naming them as additional insured and with a non-contributory clause added. What should I do?
          A line from an old movie comes to mind, “run Forest, run”.  And that’s what you should do, but it awfully hard to run with that heavy sign around your neck that reads “Greedy”.   It’s easy for me to suggest that you give up a $2000 service plan account, which I can only assume you manage to make $1900 a month, or more, on, but I know so many alarm companies would reject the advice.  I can’t blame them.  We all like to gamble a bit.  Watch the Squid Game [Amazon]and decide if that’s your level of tolerance for risk.
          You should not do any security alarm work without a proper contract.  The risk is too high.  I have relaxed my position for the installation phase only, especially for fire alarms because there is AHJ oversight.  That won’t necessarily get you off the hook but there may be less chance of things going sideways.  But after-install services, like monitoring, inspection and repair service, have no AHJ oversight, even for fire alarm.  There are just too many ways loss can arise and you can be blamed for that loss. You need all protection the Standard Form Agreements can provide, and you need E&O coverage, and you know you had to swear on your life that you use proper contracts before the carrier agreed to provide the insurance, so you think the carrier is just going to be pleased when you have a claim and no contract?  It won’t be, and you won’t have insurance much longer once the claim comes in. 
          You’re doing repair work.  You know what that means to you?  It means that you send a service tech to fix the system when the customer calls you for service or, if there is monitoring, a signal comes in alerting you to a need for service.
          But do you know what a Service Contract means to your customer?  It means that alarm better work 100% of the time, or be fixed before the customer goes to bed or leaves the house and definitely before the customer suffers a loss that the customer thinks the alarm would have and should have detected, and, O yes, prevented the loss. 
          Insist on a contract as best you can negotiate it.  You should rarely make your customer an additional insured, and never when you don’t have a proper contract in place.  I am actually thinking, could a carrier be dumb enough to issue that certificate?  One never knows, does one?

Webinars:  Registration - sign up today
TODAY"S Webinar Title: why use Disclaimer Notice and join Concierge Program
When:  February 16, 2022, at 12:00PM Eastern time
Topic Details: when, how and why to use Disclaimer Notice /  why you should join Concierge Program
Presented by: Ken Kirschenbaum, Esq.  Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum
Who should attend:  Company owners, CEOs, Managers, sales personnel
Register here:
Webinar Title:  common legal issues in buy-sell deals
When:  February 22, 2022, at 12:00PM Eastern time
Topic Details: common issues to consider in smaller buy-sell transactions
Presented by: Jesse Kirschenbaum, Esq.     Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum
Who should attend:  Company owners, CEOs, CFOs
Register here:
Webinar Title: issues buying or selling alarm company and broker's roll
When: February 24, 2022, at 12:00 PM Eastern time
Topic Details: How to prepare for negotiations and what to expect
Presented by: Ron Davis and Kelly Bond of Davis Mergers & Acquisitions Group
Who should attend: Company owners, CEOs, CFOs
Register here:
Webinar Title:  All-in-One Operations and Accounting Software for Security Integrators
When:  March 1, 2022 12 PM ET
Topic Details:  Software platform created specifically for the security installer industry. FieldHub tackles some of the thorniest operational arenas that other platforms leave behind, including RMR management and inventory tracking, all on a robust, native general ledger platform to keep your revenue and expenses in sync.  Learn how FieldHub provides a single system to manage leads and proposals through project and field service management, inventory, recurring/deferred revenue management, and full accounting.
Presenter:  Miles Fawcett, CEO FieldHub Inc.   Phone: 202.417.8196
Hosted by:  Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq.,
Who should attend:   Company owners, CEOs, CFOs, Manager, back office personnel who work with management software
Register Here:
Webinar Title:  Recruiting, hiring and retaining field talent
When:  March 8, 2022 12 PM ET
Topic Details:  Even before the pandemic, hiring and retaining field talent in the security industry was growing increasingly difficult.  This webinar will explore the best ways to find talent, prequalify them and develop enthusiasm to consider joining your team as well as how to quickly determine if a candidate’s psychomotor skills match their resume. Webinar will discuss skill matrixes and why they are valuable tools to incentivize and retain talent, help improve morale and promote consistent, transparent compensation.
Presenter:  Peter Goldring, SET, NICET #143428 Fire Alarm Systems, Level IV, ACFE Certified Fraud Examiner.  Peter M. Goldring Consulting LLC Phone  516-640-1410
Hosted by:  Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq.,
Who should attend:   Company owners, CEOs, CFOs, Manager, Human Resource Personnel
Register Here:

Comments on abort or cancel signals from article on January 22, 2022
          This is regarding the January 22, 2922 post about inconsistent response by “central station” to abort or cancel signals generated by an alarm system.  From the relatively wide variety of responses by different operators at the central station it appears to be an “operator training issue”. 
          A central station should have a regular training regimen for operators with ”retraining” on a regular basis.  The central station should also be establishing standards regarding information and instructions that each dealer should supply when a new account is set up.  Example - when we set up new residential account for burg and fire we instruct central station to call protected premises twice before dispatch, if no contact made or incorrect password, dispatch.  Abort or cancel signal from alarm system does not change the above instruction.  An abort or cancel signal from the alarm system could easily be generated by customer under duress.
Seth Oginz
Security Consultants Unlimited
Another comment
          Regarding Anon and Abort/Cancel Signals from Jan 22, 2022:
          Different alarm companies, of course, may want their signals handled different ways for a variety of reasons, but here are some suggestions which have proved useful over the years:
          First, here are some descriptions which may be useful:
Abort/Cancel signal
Duress disarm signal
Duress password
Panic alarm signal
          The Abort/Cancel Signal is a signal which is sent after a normal non-emergency disarm. I suggest that the central station always call the client on this signal. It gives the client an opportunity to give to the central station the Duress Password, which will be explained below. It also give the client a warm fuzzy to know that his system is actually working, communicating with the central station, and that an actual person saw the signal and responded to it. That builds loyalty, knowing that when he makes his monitoring payment, that there really is someone "watching over" him, and he is not just sending money into a black hole, wondering if his system is actually working while hoping for the best. It is a contact with the client.
          The Duress Disarm Signal is a signal which is sent to the central station when the client disarms with a special disarm code instead of the regular disarm code. This feature can be used in the instance in which a client is being forced by the bad guys to disarm the system. The code can be anything, including something simple and easy to remember, such as reversing the first two digits of the regular disarm code. Most alarm panels can be programmed by the alarm company to send a standard disarm signal when that user disarm code is entered. The alarm siren is programmed by the alarm company to NOT sound. The central station will usually NOT call the premises so as to not alert the bad guys that anything is amiss. But if the central station does happen to call, then the client would give the Duress Password. The central station would notify the authorities that there was a duress situation, NOT a regular burglar alarm signal.
          The Duress Password is a verbal word or phrase which the client would use any time he is talking with the central station and there is a duress situation underway, and the client cannot actively ask for help. Perhaps the bad guys are standing next to him when the central station calls and asks if everything is OK. The client could then reply that everything is OK, but give the Duress Password instead of the usual password. The central station would say something to the effect of "OK Have a good evening." or similar. The central station would then notify the authorities that the client was on location and he actively gave a verbal duress password. Duress and Panic verbal passwords and signals usually are given a higher priority than a standard burglar alarm signal. Well, they were in previous staffing level times.
          A Panic Alarm Signal is a signal the alarm panel would send if a panic button on the keypad was pressed. Most keypads have this feature. Pushing the panic button usually is programmed to sound the local siren. The central station could call the premises and ask for a password. Perhaps the person who pushed the panic button could give further info which could be passed on to the authorities. The central station would call the authorities and say that the panic button at the premises was actively pushed by someone at the location, and stress it was not just a burglar alarm signal.
          I feel that the person who pays the central station is the one who gets to specify, within reason, how signals are handled, not the central station. Most modern central station automation software has the ability to attach instructions to the operators about how to handle each signal. Attaching instructions which pop up when a signal arrives for each type of signal would help eliminate different operators handling the signal differently. In this time of staffing shortages, specific instructions attached to each kind of signals would help poorly or partially trained operators better know how to react to that signal.
          If any central station cannot or will not follow the alarm company's instructions, then the relationship with the alarm company and the central station needs to be re-evaluated. If the central station says, "my way or the highway", then the highway might be the better answer in the long run. There are several central stations listed in Ken's Alarm Exchange which would be glad to follow reasonable instructions given by the alarm company on how to handle alarm signals and passwords.
          Ken, please list me as
          It’s important for central stations to train operators and there should be standard procedures for responding to common signals.  I believe companies like NFPA, ETL and UL offer guidelines for response.  Whatever the procedure it should be in writing, it should be available to the dealers and it should be provided to the customers upon request.  We are not talking about a central station’s proprietary training manual, but a list of signals and how they are to be responded to.
          Despite operator training, technology sophistication, pop-up instructions, I think it increases risk when a customer asks the dealer and the dealer asks the central station to deviate from standard procedures.  I think it adds to operator mistakes.  So be careful what you ask for.

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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