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How should central station communicate
June 24, 2024
How should central station communicate
          With the ever changing technologies effecting the monitoring industry today. What is the type of means of notification that can be used to contact a keyholder in the event that their fire alarm or a trouble/supervisory signal has been received by the central station?                    Can you use texting or email to notify someone of the signals or do you need to actual attempt to make a verbal contact via a phone/Cell phone?
            Is leaving a message considered notification?  Do you need confirmation back once a text or email is sent or a message is left?
            This is fairly simple question, but the answer may not be as easy as one might think.  I am not aware of any statute, NTLR guideline or custom and practice in the industry that mandates how communication is to be effectuated.  There are a slew of options ranging from written, mailed, certified, overnight, email, text, phone call.  Obviously some of these communications are not practical; you’re not going to mail a letter to a subscriber that the house is on fire. 
            We have instant ways to communicate with telephone; voice and text.  Email would be next efficient way.  Snail mail is useless for emergency situations. 
            So how do you decide how to communicate?  Well, as usual with my responses, you must look to your contract, because it’s the contract that’s going to specify how communication is made and what is sufficient.  You need to be careful that your contract language actually coincides with how your central station operates.  For example, you can’t contractually commit to text if the central station won’t send a text.  You can’t commit to making 5 calls if your central station will only make one. 
            The Standard Form Agreements permit communication by most means, particularly voice, email and text.  Certified mail is never required.  Make sure your central station knows how you have committed to communicate signals so that it can comply.  I also do not recommend telling your central station how to communicate.  The better, because it’s safer, practice is to find out how your central station communicates and make sure your contract mirrors that procedure.  Also make sure your subscriber knows the procedure so expectations are met. 

STANDARD FORMS  Alarm /  Security / Fire and related Agreements
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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