Security and Alarm Information
31st October 2012
Dear Valued Client,
As the year is drawing to an end, the essence of this letter should be to wish all our clients a fantastic festive season and a safe and prosperous new year. These wishes would normally be conveyed a little closer to the end of the year, however there are certain urgent issues, pertaining to alarm systems and their usage, that need to be conveyed to all clients as a matter of urgency.
Our records over the past few months reflect a dramatic increase in house break-ins and attempted house break-ins in our area of operation. We at CBAR, have analysed all of these incidents and found that the majority of these could, to a large degree, have been avoided or the loss minimised if the alarm systems had been switched on or functional.
PLEASE TAKE CAREFUL NOTE OF THE FOLLOWING;
- CBAR is 100% reliant on your alarm system being fully functional. Our control room operators would only become aware of any intrusion onto your property or into your premises, if your alarm system generates a signal.
- CBAR has experienced a number of break-ins where it was discovered that the client had FAILED to arm the alarm, either in error or knowingly. Should there be a positive intrusion into a property where the client suffers a loss, the insurer (provided it is a requirement in the insurance policy) would request an alarm activation report from us. This is to satisfy them that the alarm was indeed armed during the intrusion. All alarm systems have an event log which stores all this information and the insurer will undoubtedly refute a claim where the alarm was not switched on.
- Where there is a faulty zone/s on an alarm system, some clients merely bypass these faulty zone/s, which would leave certain areas unprotected. If an item is stolen from an area that is bypassed, the insurer will not pay out for these items.
- Often, clients acquire a new pet and their existing alarm system does not have pet tolerant sensors. Instead of changing to pet tolerant sensors, zones are simply by-passed, which reduces the effectiveness of the alarm system.
- An alarm system is just like any other piece of electronic equipment and should be maintained, upgraded, checked and tested at least once annually.
- In a few instances the voltage on the battery back-up was too low and failed to trigger the radio transmitter, hence no signal could be sent to our control centre. Batteries have a lifespan!
- Certain clients alarm systems are still linked to our control centre via telephone only. Should your phone be non functional due to the line being cut, a bill not being paid or simply a Telkom fault, you would have no alarm signal connection to our control centre. The practice
of telephone monitoring was acceptable 20 years ago, but it is absolutely imperative that a radio transmitter be installed, as this serves as a back-up to the telephone monitoring and takes less than 2.5 seconds to send a signal to our control centre, far faster than a phone line. In a duress situation speed is paramount to the response. Just a point to consider, business premises are required, by insurers to have dual monitoring.
- CBAR also has had occurrences whereby clients have pushed panic buttons in emergency situations and had no response from the control centre. This is due the fact that panic buttons are made to be child proof and require to be pushed and held in for at least 3 seconds. They do not operate on the same principal as a TV remote. In a domestic application, panics should be held in until the siren sounds.
- As CBAR is a SAIDSA (South African Intruder Detection Services Association) approved alarm installation / servicing company, we attend to many alarm systems on a daily basis, some of which are outdated and in need of upgrading, as they do not provide sufficient intruder detection, especially in areas of value. As you can well imagine, an alarm system that is 10 – 15 years old, could be compared to a cell phone which is 10 – 15 years old – technology changes from day to day and the various new types of intruder detection including outside beams and sensors would offer a far greater level of security to you and your family.
- Most intrusions do occur during the day, when criminals believe that occupants of residences are at work. So often the domestic staff are confronted by intruders and have no means of calling for assistance. It is strongly advised that alarms should have remote panic buttons attached so that these can be carried with them throughout the extent of the property, alleviating a mad rush for a fixed panic button in a confrontational situation. PLEASE CONVEY TO YOUR DOMESTIC THE CORRECT WAY TO USE A PANIC BUTTON AND WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN THEY HAVE UTILISED THIS PANIC FASCILITY. i.e. that a control centre will call to try and establish what the emergency is and that the armed reaction will be dispatched on all instances. Our control centre receives many false panic activations due to user error by pushing the incorrect button on a remote; namely garage door or gate. Please familiarise yourselves with your current remote.
- As alarm systems serve as an early warning to an intrusion, CBAR strongly recommends that you have your alarm system serviced and checked timeously before the end of the year. Should you require a service, upgrade or any additions, kindly contact our technical department on 0860 151515. Please note that we do not charge for a consultant to attend your premises to do an evaluation of your current alarm set up, so please do not hesitate to contact us with any enquiries.
NB. A note to all clients who have not updated their information with us for a while, to please ensure that our admin department has your updated key holder / contact details as well as an active email address, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org with any changes.
Please see our NEW web-site at www.cbar.co.za, as we are now on Facebook and Twitter.
The CBAR team would like to take this opportunity to wish all their clients a safe and peaceful end to 2012.
Kind regards and best wishes.
Alan Kusevitsky and the CBAR team