By: Ron Walters, SIAC Director
It hasn’t happened often, but at least twice in our industry what seemed like great ideas at the time turned very bad. Both of these issue involved silent alarms.
The first were panels that allowed a one-plus duress signal. This goes back several decades ago. We’re still requiring in alarm ordinances that these systems be reprogrammed to eliminate this feature. Most panel manufacturers have eliminated it to comply with the ANSI SIA CP-01 panel standard. A duress code should always be uniquely different than an arming code.
More recently the “good deed” was the use of wireless key fobs to arm and disarm alarm systems, a good idea, but it also included a panic button, a very bad idea. This is particularly true when the panic alarm is silent.
A wireless single pushbutton device to trigger an alarm is a disaster waiting to happen. Young children love to play with keys. They make a rattling noise and fit nicely in a small mouth struggling with the teething process. Put that key fob in a pocket or purse and then grope around looking for it, well you get the idea. How many times has your car alarm gone off due to some inadvertent action that causes the button to be depressed while still in your pocket?
Given the fact that 99.999% of key fob activated alarms have no real emergency, we urge (even beg) you to NOT program this feature. It’s a nice extra selling feature, but has no other practical use. If you weigh that small plus against the number of law enforcement responders injured every year responding to unnecessary dispatches I hope you’ll agree – it’s just not worth it!
What are your views and how do you program key fobs? Let us know by responding to this blog.