Fire Victim Blames Alarm Company for Defective System

By Ashley Willis

ST. PETERS, Mo. — A family that claims their fire alarm did not sound during a fire is blaming the alarm company that installed the system, citing that the system did not work.

Regina Martinez is currently rebuilding her home after a Nov. 1 fire damaged it, reports During the incident, Martinez claims that her Vivint system did not go off; rather, a neighbor notified her that her home was on fire.

Additionally, Martinez maintains that despite contacting Vivint (formerly APX Alarm), she didn’t hear back from the company until she posted a sign on her lawn calling out the company for negligence, and posted the image on Facebook.

However, Vivint spokesperson Lisa Davis tells SSI that the installed system was not faulty.

“She did have a Vivint system in her home, but it was a basic system that came with a single smoke and heat detector,” she says. “That one device was at the far end of her home from where the fire started, which was in the garage.”

Martinez, a Vivint customer for about a year, had other smoke detectors in the home that weren’t connected to the Vivint system. A report from the fire department said that a detector near the garage did trigger, Davis says.

“It wasn’t connected to a monitoring station, so it just went off as an alarm,” she says. “Thankfully, her neighbor heard it and everybody got out safely.”

Although the company maintains that their system wasn’t defective, Vivint refunded the $1,144.74 Martinez spent on the fire alarm.

“Our hearts definitely go out to her,” Davis says. “We’re still in conversation with her, and we’ve sent out our technicians to see if there is anything we can do to help her that’s within our ability to do so.”

So, what can alarm companies do to prevent a similar incident from happening to them? Davis says it is important to remind consumers to double check to make sure all home automation/security devices are connected to the control panel.

“It’s really important that customers are well informed about the security systems,” she says. “We always recommend that customers have a professional evaluate their homes to see what type of systems work best. At the same time, alarm companies need to remind customers that they have a real responsibility as well. We can do a lot on our end, but we also need their help in making sure that everything is in place to keep their homes and families safe.”

Ashley Willis is associate editor for SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION. She can be reached at (310) 533-2419.

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