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More on operators working remotely  
September 14, 2022
More on operators working remotely from article on August 27, 2022
            Our operators don't work remotely, but considering how operators logon to the network, the software tracks who handled the event but doesn't track whether they were remote or not.
Robert Baxter, CEO
Vancouver Fire
Radius Security
National Fire Safety Planners
Richmond, BC CANADA
            I don’t run our own company’s monitoring service (I leave that up to the excellent out-source professionals that we pay to do this on our behalf).  But based upon my experience during this whole COVID disaster/debacle, with regard to our third party monitoring service, I have seen absolutely no reduction of the quality of the service, nor in the response time by my monitoring center.  I cannot tell (nor do I care) about how my customers’ incoming signals are handled/processed – I rely on my monitoring company’s professionalism, because I trust them.   When I call in, whether the operator I reach is sitting in one of their four redundant monitoring centers, or is working “from home in their pajamas”, the service I need is always excellent; very short hold times.  I have every confidence that if one of their working-from-operators needed to go “off line” for any reason (take a bathroom break, change a diaper, stop a barking dog, whatever) and was unable to respond to an incoming signal, their system automation would redirect the signal to the next available agent at any one of their four redundant monitoring centers.  I have had Zero complaints about operator response, “post COVID”. 
            Their response time has always been, and remains to be excellent. 
            BTW – my Company uses USA Central Station for our Remote Station monitoring service; and it also meshes nicely with their answering service “Alertcom USA”, as customers calling in to my main office phone number for any business or monitoring issues can immediately be serviced by the USA Central agent that answers the phone when my office is closed/unmanned; a huge plus for my customers! 
Andy Wilson
Fireworks, LLC

            Further comment
            Years ago, a friend of mine was managing a Central Station and the 3rd shift operator he was working with came to him….
            Marv, you need to fire me.
            Fred, why?
            Well, you know I’m not ‘made’ but, several of my relatives are (members of the Mafia).  I was told that on a certain location on a certain night to ‘conveniently’ be slow to respond to a particular alarm signal.  They know who my wife is, where my kids go to school….
            YES – REAL WORLD HAPPENS!!
            During the pandemic, even though it was TIGHT, we sucked it up and were FULLY STAFFED (paid a lot of overtime that made some Central Station Dispatchers very happy campers)
            On the techie side
            What occurs if
  *  The automation needs re-booting?
  *  Massive power outage for 2-days as in the case of the ongoing outages that started in Texas – a small UPS at someone’s house simply won’t cut it!
  *  As others have indicated – distractions such as the baby crying or kids fighting?
  *  OR – a ‘bad guy’ knowing what is going on with a dispatcher at ‘home’ taking care of business……
      Just my 2-cents!
   Joseph Pfefer, President and Founder
   Jade Alarm Co
            Jeff makes some good points but here is an even scary true incident involving home monitoring. That happened in the Early 80s in Burgettstown Pa. 
            An elderly couple where the husband was disabled.  Ran local police dispatch for 3 small part time police depts and monitored local alarms at their home. Including the Mellon Bank. 
            Early one morning they were attacked in their home by unknown intruders; they were tied up and all cables cut. That afternoon when armored car pulled up to make a delivery.  The guards were attacked and money taken. It has been unsolved to this day.
            There was major outrage why such an arrangement was ever made, Bbt considering phone and 2 way radio and alarm technology and how rural these communities were at time it made sense and obviously someone had inside knowledge.
            If it happened in 80s it could happen today. 
Nick M
            I'm not sure why we are having all the discussions concerning operators working from home. Johnson Controls bought the investment group's holdings which included Richmond Alarm, one of the oldest electronic security companies in the country, which also had their own central station. After the sale, Johnson Controls lost the lease on the central station. Before they could find a new home, UL notified them, and I thought all UL central stations, that they would not accept any more operators working from home which was accepted during Covid. All had to be working from the physical central station.
Stan Corn
Alarms Inc

            If Stan is correct then UL has changed its position.  I don't know if that's the case.
            We are still waiting to hear from any central station that permits their operators to work remotely to advise what protocols are followed and technology employed.  I assume UL considered the issues and came up with some guidelines.  I Jeff Zwirn stated he didn't agree with the practice but I don't recall the actual guidelines and I don't recall seeing any position statements from or considered by UL or any other regulatory laboratory or AHJ.

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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
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