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In-Facility Monitoring v At-Home Monitoring 
August 22,  2023
In-Facility Monitoring v At-Home Monitoring
          This is a topic that is just getting started.  Alarm experts and central station operators are increasingly expressing concern about At-Home Monitoring.  As you will see from the email below Rapid Response Monitoring has been one of the most vocal central stations to oppose At-Home Monitoring, and Rapid does not, and never has, used at home monitoring; all monitoring in in-facility. 
          The interesting thing is that we haven’t heard from a single central station [or dealer for that matter] who supports at-home monitoring, or even admits to using at-home operators.  That is curious because apparently many dealers know their central station utilizes at-home operators some of the time, most of the time or all of the time.  Despite the approval by the industry laboratories, who, let’s face it, are looked to as experts in setting industry standards, custom and practice, some alarm experts, notably Jeff Zwirn and Jeff Atkins, among others, have expressed concerns for customer safety. 
          I am not aware of any lawsuits yet where the central station operator was working from home, let alone that working from home contributed to some neglect in properly responding to a signal.  That does not mean, of course, that no such case has been commenced or losses haven’t occurred.  Unless a case proceeds to litigation and discovery a subscriber-claimant may not even be aware that an operator was working from home and a home distraction or less than secure communication or electric conditions contributed to the failure to properly respond to the signal. 
          Jeff Zwirn’s offer to debate the issue remains open.  Where are those who supported the change in procedure with the laboratories?  Time to come forward.  It’s also interesting that the At-Home central stations seem to be so secretive about it that even competitors are refusing to name those central stations embracing at-home operators.  
          Here is Jeff Atkins [President of Rapid Response Monitoring] letter to Rapid dealers.  Good for you Jeff.
   August 4, 2023
To our Rapid Response Dealer Network,
Throughout my career, I have been committed to the success of our industry, not only to its growth and financial success, but to its reputation as a major sector of our economy that has matured, is widely supported, and is trusted by homeowners and businesses throughout the country. I’m extremely proud of Rapid Response’s success in serving our Dealers, but I have never failed to appreciate our part in the development of the industry as a whole.
I speak to this now because I am concerned that the integrity and trust that is a cornerstone of our industry’s success – and of our customers’ safety – is being undermined by the decision to allow for the monitoring of critical alarms from, ironically, unsecured locations. At-home monitoring was permitted and later codified during the COVID-19 pandemic; a trade-off that has now come to haunt us.
There are a myriad of arguments against at-home monitoring… I’ve not heard one that wasn’t valid, but they may be succinctly defined in the observation that working remotely offers zero data security and monitoring operators themselves are exposed to the emergency situations that they are monitoring for, such as burglaries, fires, weather events, power loss, internet outage etc., and, in that, there are significant uncertainties and not enough monitoring center redundancies.
Moreover, it’s unclear whether monitoring centers that have adopted at-home monitoring, in part or completely, make it known, which means consumers may not know what they have contracted for. That is an unfair business practice which creates a legal cloud over the entire industry.
Rapid Response never sent monitoring personnel to work from home during the pandemic. Since 1992, we have exclusively provided professional monitoring services 100% from our hardened, fully secure and redundant facilities, and always will. Moreover, our Dealer Support and Data Entry departments exclusively serve our Dealer partners 100% from our facilities. There are no “work from home” evenings or weekends either. 100% means 100%. That is professional monitoring… anything else is simply not.
I certify with my signature on this letter that Rapid Response is absolutely committed to In-Facility Monitoring and monitoring support services. It is a commitment to the safety of your customers and to the continued success of your business. And it is a commitment to the integrity of our industry.

Jeffrey Atkins

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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