Cell Phone Number Switching May Cut Link to Alarm Companies

LOS ANGELES – As the mad dash begins for people to switch their home numbers to their cell phones, there might be something that residential alarm system customers are forgetting: their alarm system.

On Nov. 24, the Federal Communications Commission enacted new rules that allow customers to keep their phone numbers after switching their local phone carrier. That includes the ability to switch their home number from a traditional land telephone line to a cellular or wireless phone. However, there’s the risk that when a home security customer shuts down their home telephone line, they may also be shutting out their link to the alarm service.

“Ninety-nine percent of home security systems are monitored by their home telephone line,” says Grant Thayer, vice president and general manager of Radar Security Alarm in Winston Salem, N.C. “They take the live line away and there’s nothing.”

The FCC estimated that as many as 6 million customers switched their home numbers to wireless phones in just the first few days of the new rule.

It’s not just the switching off of telephone lines for cell phones that’s causing headaches for central stations. Customers who switch their home phones to digital subscriber lines (DSL) are also cutting their alarm system link. Filters need to be attached to DSL-connected lines to keep communication with the central stations.

“One of the problems people have is they get rid of the landline, put the DSL in and they don’t notify us,” says Robert Jennison, director of business development for Post Alarm Systems in Arcadia, Calif. “When they have alarm activation, there’s nothing coming into the central station.”

The solution, alarm operators say, is to inform users as soon as possible on the consequences of shutting down their home phone line or switching to DSL on their alarm system and working with the customer to ensure that service continues.

Mark Your Calendar February1-3: Security Industry Association (SIA) Corporate Security Roundtable – Doral Resort and Spa, Miami; (703) 683-20752-4: ASIS Professional Development: Disaster Management – Omni Hotel; San Francisco; (703) 519-62006-7: ASIS Certified Protection Professional CPP, PCI and PSP Reviews – Grand Hyatt Hotel; Atlanta; (703) 519-62009-13: ASIS Professional Development: Physical Security – Century Plaza Hotel; Los Angeles; (703) 519-620023-27: Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) Winter Technology and Standards Forum – The Radisson Bahia Mar; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; (703) 907-7600Aegison Makes Law Enforcement PactsSANTA CLARA, Calif. – The law is coming down upon Aegison Corp.’s digital surveillance systems. The Santa Clara, Calif., company isn’t in any kind of trouble, but it has scored several recent contracts with law enforcement agencies.

The Hamilton County Sheriff Department in Indiana is adding Aegison’s DV6010m mobile DVR in its for its 50 squad cars. Aegison also says it is installing DV6010 recorders on motorcycles for an undisclosed police department in Texas. Ira Davis, Aegison’s sales manager, touts the draw his company’s digital system over the traditional videotape system used by other law enforcement agencies.

“What you see on ‘Cops’ is usually a VCR system. Some departments have storerooms full of tapes,” Davis says. “The difference is this can be stored on a hard drive with a digital watermark to keep the lawyers happy, and it can be wirelessly downloaded.”

While the thought of replacing endless stacks of labeled tapes with a searchable hard drive may be tantalizing enough to Aegison’s customers, wireless is also a strength of the digital system. “Digital is the only thing that has allowed this to go wireless,” Davis says.

GE Interlogix Cuts Proximity Card PricesBOCA RATON, Fla. РGE Interlogix is cutting the prices of five of its proximity cards Рincluding the Entr̩e, ProxLite and ISO ProxLite products Рby more than 60 percent.

GE says it is guaranteeing that its pricing to its business partners will be at least 2-percent less than the published pricing of CASI-compatible cards from its competitors.

The price cuts include a 65-percent drop in the purchase price of the ISO ProxLite with magnetic stripe.Tax Credit for Security ProposedWASHINGTON – A bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives that would amend the tax code to allow businesses a tax credit for the installation of electronic security systems and other security-related expenses. The bill, by Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), was introduced on Nov. 20, where it was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee.

The bill, called the “Prevent Act of 2003” and labeled as HR 3562, would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow a credit for security devices, assessments and other expenses incurred in the name of boosting security. The credit would be 20 percent of the cost of an electronic security device and/or 30 percent of an assessment.

Joel Brubaker, the legislative director for Shuster, says the bill came about as a extension of conversations concerning post-Sept. 11 security in his district, which stretches 14 counties in Pennsylvania from Uniontown to suburban Harrisburg. “Through conversation, we were realizing this type of legislation was needed,” says Brubaker. “The best aspect of it would be to ensure a safer workplace.”

The definition of “security device” in the bill ranges from access control and CCTV systems to electronic alarm systems and locks.

Mallon Associates Acquired by C.E. UnterbergNEW YORK – An investment bank is putting its money into security industry financial advisor Mallon Associates by acquiring it for an undisclosed sum.

The deal, announced Nov. 12, makes Mallon a division of C.E. Unterberg, Towbin (CEUT), a New York-based investment bank that focuses on middle-market growth companies in the technology and health care industries.

Jack Mallon co-founded the company in 1999 with his son Jon Mallon and Robert Rutkowski.  All three will stay on after the acquisition

.Mallon publishes Mallon’s Security Report, a newsletter reporting on investment opportunities in the security industry.

Crime Fighters Try to Link Up With Alarm CompaniesST. PAUL, Minn. – An Internet-based company devoted to crime prevention is reaching out to electronic security and other businesses to promote its crime-fighting efforts. Citizen Observer is looking for alarm companies to help their local police agencies pay for their participation in Citizen Observer’s programs through sponsorships.

Citizen Observer offers law enforcement agencies the ability to post information and rewards about their fugitives, missing persons or unsolved crimes, as well as keep citizens informed of pertinent issues and statistics.

Able Security Systems of Milwaukee was one of the first alarm companies to help sponsor Citizen Observer programs.

“What it does for us it gives us tremendous credibility by associating with law enforcement,” says Able Security Systems President John Evans. “Alarm companies depend on the police to give them their service. This is a way of paying something back for the service they provide.”

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