DIY Danger: How Konnected Has Concocted False Claims About Its Alarm Panel Solution
Konnected says its alarm panel can turn any wired alarm system into a smart alarm. However, an independent forensic analysis shows it disregards security and life-safety standards and represents extreme danger to consumers.
Konnected’s Technical Advice for a Siren Cut-Off Switch
“Imagine for a moment you’re out and you get a frantic call from your wife or child: “The siren is going off!”
“There is no intruder. You turn to your app, but your cell coverage is spotty or you find out there is a problem, and the smart home monitor doesn’t seem to be responding for some reason. Let’s be honest; when someone is panicking and the alarm is going off, nothing seems to be responding fast enough. This is why you might want to consider installing a siren cut-off.”
Konnected should have been more concerned about the proper design and listing of their products before they put them in the stream of commerce, instead of recklessly directing unsuspecting consumers and the public to install a siren cut-off toggle switch on the Konnected Alarm Panel.
Professionals in the alarm industry know that no audible-indicating appliances can have a toggle switch incorporated onto any fire alarm system and/or security system.
In my opinion, the technical advice here amplifies Konnected’s gross incompetence and flawed conduct. On the other hand, Konnected’s ignorance is not an excuse for providing technical advice that is extremely dangerous and fails to comply with any code, standard and regulations of authorities having jurisdiction across the country.
Simply put, if the siren cut-off switch is left in the off position, thereby disconnecting the operation of all of the audible indicating appliance(s) in the home, there is no warning; and if there is a real emergency (with the switch left in the off-position), the audible alarm(s) will not sound.
Continuing on, if the toggle switch over time is impaired by high resistance, it will create an intermittent effect on the functionality and reliability of the alarm siren(s) being able to go into an alarm condition even with the toggle switch in the “on” position.
Again, the “technical advice” provided to the public by Konnected is not safe nor is it reliable.
Konnected’s rationale for the siren cut-off toggle switch is in the event that the siren(s) cannot be turned off so that a person does not yank out wires, pulling power or cause other harm.
Then a question on the company’s website asks, “Doesn’t this make it less secure?” Konnected’s answer: “Possibly. If your alarm box is in a highly trafficked area or you are concerned about someone gaining access to your alarm panel/wiring, this might not be the solution for you. Or you may want to use a keyed switch and not a simple toggle switch.”
As you can see, the consumer is then advised and directed by Konnected that if the alarm box is in a “highly trafficked area,” you may want to use a keypad instead of a toggle switch. How about using the existing keypad on the system at all times and never installing any type of mechanical switch on the bell output of the system, and never installing an unlisted control unit?
There’s more. No battery backup is required on the Konnected Alarm Panel, which is yet another dangerous design flaw on Konnected “Alarm Panels” products which are being sold to consumers.
Advice to Pro Installers
Should a “professional” alarm company install Konnected products? My emphatic answer to this question is no.
In my opinion, any professional alarm company that installs the Konnected alarm panel risks unmitigated liability. These claims can include but are not limited to violation of codes, standards, requirements of authorities having jurisdiction, failure to comply with adopted building and fire codes, and alarm contractor licensing laws.
Stated differently, if the Konnected product fails — and as a result there is a loss — the focus will be on the unlisted Konnected product, which the dealer company installed. Most states prohibit an alarm contractor from installing equipment that is not listed by a NRTL. And these violations against the alarm contractor continue if the contractor does anything to endanger the health, welfare and safety of the public.
Pro Equipment Manufacturers Should Take Action
All professional equipment manufacturers should notify their counsel and advise Konnected to immediately cease and desist from advocating that Konnected products can be connected to professional alarm control panels such as theirs, and to stop advertising their company’s names almost like Konnected is being endorsed by these companies.
In my opinion, equipment manufacturers need to post warnings on their websites that the use of Konnected products on their equipment is strictly prohibited and voids the listing of their products, its limited warranty, and that Konnected products pose a danger to the reliability of intrusion and fire/life-safety alarm system detection which could result in devastation of properly, serious personal injury and death.
In addition, equipment manufacturers need to warn Konnected that if an alarm system control panel fails as a result of Konnected products being connected to it, they will hold Konnected legally responsible for all damages sustained if they become a party to a loss.
Konnected knows, should have known, and/or most certainly should have recognized each of the inherent and unacceptable dangers and risks associated with their product line before they decided to design, manufacture and sell them to the public.
The foregoing opinions are held to a reasonable degree of professional, technical, alarm science, NICET IV, CFPS, UL Standards and NFPA 72 Standards certainty.
Jeffrey Zwirn, CPP, CFPS, CFE, SET, FASI&T, CHPA-IV, MBAT, NFPA 3000(PS), is president of IDS Research and Development Inc., an alarm and security consultation, forensic expert witness and training authority providing nationwide services on all issues related to alarm and security matters. He can be reached at (800) 353-0733 and alarmexpert.com.
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On the other hand, consumers seem to be quite happy with:
1. Systems that run without monthly monitoring fees.
2. Systems that can be maintained when installers have not shared codes to modify the system
3. Systems that easily integrate with other digital products.
Ultimately consumers are in the best position to decide what is best for them. Personally, I can attest to being quite happy without support for line-supervision.
Likewise, a Connected Fire & Smoke alarm is superior and more safe than an unconnected one, especially if neither of them have a power backup, as is common in residential systems.
At the end-of the day, Konnected allows me to take control of my home & home-security in a manner a traditional alarm does not. As a homeowner I am in the best position to determine if that is appropriate.
Doing you out of business hey? It’s free open source software, good point on the smoke alarms but you obviously got an ulterior motive and a conflict of interest here.
I agree with the above commenters. This article is written by someone who feels their business is threatened.
The alarm industry has not been innocent, it has been plagued with bad actors throughout the years, locking home owner systems even after paying off contracts. The consumers are tired of the predatory business practices.
Konnected provides functionality the consumers want or they wouldn’t be selling any. You should focus on improving what traditional alarm system are lacking and why consumers don’t want your products.
We don’t care about UL and NFPA, organizations funded by the alarm companies themselves.
My fire/co/water detectors still function to code when hooked up to my konnected panel, they still go off, but now with the enhanced functionality that I can see on my smartphone and get notified when they go off if I am not home to hear the noise they make. That makes me feel safer about my home.
Additionality monitoring is useless to me, too many false alarms. I can self monitor now with all the functionality the alarm companies kept from consumers long enough because of their own self interest. I can call the police or fire when I get a notification, I can check my cameras to confirm it isn’t a false arm. Everyone who has paid false alarm fee understands this.
Love my Konneted system. Stated not to be a life safety device, Linking a local fire alarm system via a UL listed adapter is just extra information IN ADDITION to the existing siren warning. How many legacy professional alarm systems are sitting disconnected In homes? Love my konnected. Even have a sensor on my beer fridge!
As the owner of a security company I am sickened by the industry and corruption. Lying to customers to get locked into contracts, using scare tactics to get people away from self install and monitoring. The alarm industry is desperately trying to hold on to old technology that locks consumers in. I personally have dsc installed at my properties and use konnected to auto arm and disarm with SmartThings using geofencing. It works great for 5 years straight now.
The only thing I see that’s misleading is this article. The title suggests there’s a danger here, when no such threat exists. There are a lot of emotional claims with nearly no substance as to the “why.” Why does this cause a danger to my family? Forget about standards for a moment. Explain the net effect. Any expert worth their salt can communicate their expertise in plain language English to a lay person, and this article just fails that test. It just sounds like a deeply entrenched industry preying on monthly fees desperately trying to keep their claws in place while fighting modernity. Explain the issue with brevity or stop complaining.
1. I asked Nate Clark, the President of Konnected, to debate me as to my article, and he said there was no need. In other words, the science to my accuracy besides my specialized education, skill, knowledge training, and experience is what Nate Clark admitted to me, in writing, that I think that by framing the conversation as a debate, you have prematurely concluded that I would be disagreeing with you and we would be engaging in an adversarial discussion. In fact, most of your technical points are correct so there wouldn’t be much of a debate.
2. There is nothing emotional about knowingly selling a product that is not UL listed and violates the Fire Code and the National Electrical Code (NEC). The NFPA- National Fire Protection Association at 1 Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA, that was established in 1896 publishes the most authoritative treatise on fire alarm systems being, NFPA-72. See https://www.nfpa.org/overview/. Konnected’s products violate NFPA 72 and NFPA 70.
3. As elaborated to in my article, the danger to you and your family is that you will never be warned of a system impairment as is required under minimum industry standards, so while you think you are protected, you’re not, and if an intruder or fire emergency happens, you would not be warned. That’s dangerous. Despite Konnected not complying with Standards, this is not an option for a host of products, including security systems and life safety purposes. Would you ever buy a Smoke Alarm that’s not UL Listed and/or does not comply with NFPA 72? What about a fire extinguisher?
4. Any Alarm System product that is not listed by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL), such as UL Intertek/ETL, is dangerous since it has not been tested for reliability to nationally recognized industry standards and best practices that include but is not limited to UL-1023 and UL-985 standards.
5. When it comes to security and life safety and the choices equipment manufacturers, make its serious business. This is not about complaining; it’s about identifying inherent dangers that, but for companies like Konnected, should never exist. Millions and millions of people rely on alarm systems, so for a company like Konnected to disregard the criticality of codes and standards puts subscribers at needless risk.
6. If you knew that there was going to be a fire in your home tonight, you would do everything in your power to protect them, and in doing so, you buy Konnected equipment and follow what they tell you to do. However, despite installing Konnected equipment, it is in a non0functional state as to its audible sounder and/or the smoke detectors that you connect to it. With this in mind, instead of being able to proactively warn you, it does not provide for supervision of these alarm components. Resultantly, no one in your home is provided with early warning during a fire emergency. When this happens, it is statistically known that occupants in the home will be seriously injured or be killed. Can you think of anyone that would knowingly purchase equipment to protect their family, whereby the equipment manufacturer intentionally disregards the Fire Code? What could be more important than having a reliable fire alarm system to protect you and your family? That cannot be achieved with Konnected equipment based on its dangerous and defective design.
Do you feel the same about Ring’s Retrofit solution? https://ring.com/products/retrofit-alarm-kit
My Dad asked a question about Ring.com but you removed it for some reason. We want to know if you feel the same about Rings retrofit solution.