Should Companies Include Regular Alarm Testing in a Service Contract?


Hi Ken,

I wanted to share some thoughts. The only ways to have any alarm system perform consistently and reliably is to have dynamic regular period testing and system communications supervision. This should also be recorded in a log. Wouldn’t it be good to have this in a contract? If the customer does not have such a record at time of system malfunction, I would think this would be favorable to the service provider.

What are your legal comments on this requirement?

Bob Dolph, Technical Editor
Security Sales & Integration Magazine

This raises the issue of more equipment and services for more money. Of course, a supervised line and regular testing is a better communication system than without, but what about the subscriber who doesn’t want to pay for this added feature? Should you be providing all the upgrades and bells and whistles if you’re not getting paid for them? I don’t think so.

One feature that I think is worth considering is a panel with a history log. I don’t know if all panels have these logs, but those that do record all device activation and all communication efforts. After any loss, you should attempt to secure the panel and get the log history. This, with the central station records, will give you a good idea how the alarm system functioned.

These types of issues do not have to be in contracts.

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About the Author


Security Sales & Integration’s “Legal Briefing” columnist Ken Kirschenbaum has been a recognized counsel to the alarm industry for 35 years and is principal of Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum, P.C. His team of attorneys, which includes daughter Jennifer, specialize in transactional, defense litigation, regulatory compliance and collection matters.

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