Home Security Blog

Posted By

It was another productive week for our video team last week, as eight (8) new videos were released on February 12th and 13th. Jorge appeared in the most videos, but fan-favorite Jarrett also showed up. I even appeared in a couple! Let's check out the newest Alarm Grid tutorial videos!


Checking The Simon XT Firmware Version Number

Jorge explains how you can check the Firmware Version Number of an Interlogix Simon XT Security System. The current highest firmware version for the Simon XT is Version 1.6. However, it is particularly important that the system is on at least Firmware Version 1.3. Firmware Version 1.3 is the minimum version needed to install a cellular communicator in the Simon XT Security System so that you can get it connected with Alarm.com for monitoring service.


Using Home Automation on a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 w/o Monitoring

Jorge shows how you can use a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System for smart home automation functions even if the system is not actively monitored. However, getting the system monitored and connected with Alarm.com will open up the door for many more automation functions. By connecting the system with Alarm.com, you can set up smart scenes to have devices like lights, door locks, and smart thermostats activate automatically based on a set schedule or with certain system events.


Using Honeywell 5800 Sensors On a Qolsys IQ Panel 2

Our good man Jarrett explains how you can use Honeywell 5800 Series Sensors on the 345 MHz version of the Qolsys IQ panel 2 Plus. This version of the system can also support 2GIG 345 MHz Sensors and DSC PowerG Sensors. It is also important to note that you can only use uni-directional (one-way) 345 MHz sensors with the system. You cannot use any bi-directional Honeywell 5800 Sensors with the 345 MHz IQ Panel 2 Plus.


Response Types for a Honeywell Lyric Alarm System

I explain Response Types on a Honeywell Lyric Controller. Every sensor enrolled with the system is assigned a Response Type. This setting determines how the system responds when the sensor is faulted. Making sure you set the correct Response Type for each zone is important. If you set the incorrect Response Type for a zone, then the system won't respond the way you want it to when a sensor is faulted. Keep in mind that difference Response Types are available for different Device Types.


Changing the Volume of a Qolsys IQ Panel 2

Jorge shows you how to adjust the volume on the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System. The IQ panel 2 has three (3) volume settings available. There are volume settings Voices, Beeps and Chimes, and Media. Each setting can be adjusted individually as needed. You will need to know the Master Code, the Installer Code, or the Dealer Code to make volume changes. Also keep in mind that setting any volume option to 0 will mute that selection.


Enrolling an IQ Fob with a Qolsys IQ Panel 2

Clean-shaven Jarrett shows you how to enroll a Qolsys IQ Fob with a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System. The Qolsys IQ Fob is a key fob that operates at 319.5 MHz. It offers buttons for arming, disarming, automation, and an auxiliary panic. The actual functions of the buttons are determined based on the sensor group you assign to the key fob zone. The device has a range of about 100 feet, and it works with nearly any security system that supports 319.5 MHz wireless sensors.


Using a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 with Apple HomeKit

Jorge explains how it is not possible to use a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus System with Apple HomeKit. You cannot have HomeKit devices respond automatically based on system events. But the system does offer integrations with Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Also, you can control the system using Siri Shortcuts through Alarm.com. If you need a system that offers full functionality with Apple HomeKit, then we recommend the Honeywell Lyric Controller. The Lyric offers a great HomeKit integration.


Are There Security Systems Better Than a Qolsys IQ Panel Alarm System?

I explain how there are many security systems that are superior to the original Qolsys IQ Panel. The original IQ Panel was the first system released by Qolsys. It has since been replaced by the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. The Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus supports more advanced features, improved automation functions, more reliable communication, and more robust sensor support. It also offers a slimmer design and a sleeker profile, making it more aesthetically pleasing.

Tags: , , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

Alarm Grid is proud to announce that new Honeywell Lyric System Kits are now available! These new kits come included with Honeywell 5800MINI Door/Window Sensors, which are easy to enroll and install. Now is the perfect time to get started with a new Honeywell Lyric Security System!

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

Customers can choose between the Honeywell LYRIC5800PK Kit and the Honeywell LYRIC5800PK10 Kit. The LYRIC5800PK Kit includes three (3) door and window sensors and one (1) motion sensor. This is a good kit for a smaller home or an apartment where not many sensors are needed. If you have a larger home or business, then the LYRIC5800PK10 Kit is most likely the preferred option. That kit includes ten (10) door and window sensors and one (1) motion sensor. Of course, both kits can be easily expanded upon if needed. The Lyric supports 345 MHz Honeywell 5800 Sensors, 2GIG 345 MHz Sensors, and 128-bit AES encrypted Honeywell SiX Series Sensors.

Previously, Alarm Grid offered Lyric System Kits that featured the VERSA-2GIG Door and Window Contacts. The Honeywell 5800MINI Sensors offer the exact same performance, and they have an identical appearance. The only difference is that the Honeywell 5800MINI Sensors have a red circuit board, while the one for the VERSA-2GIG is yellow. But with the cover closed, you won't be able to see the difference. Both sensors enroll in the same manner, and they both provide excellent function as door and window contacts.

We have included some other accessories with these kits to help you get started. Both kits feature the Honeywell SiXPIR Motion Sensor. This passive infrared (PIR) motion detection sensor offers a coverage area of 40 feet by 56 feet, and it provides pet immunity for small animals weighing up to 80 pounds. As this sensor is part of the SiX Series lineup, it utilizes 128-bit AES encryption for enhanced wireless security. This military-grade encryption makes it nearly impossible for others to hack or takeover. And since the Lyric System supports up to 128 wireless zones, you will have no problem expanding on the system later if needed.

For monitoring service, the Lyric comes with a built-in WIFI card. This allows the system to connect with the AlarmNet360 Servers, provided that you obtain an appropriate monitoring plan. You should also make sure that your monitoring plan includes access to Total Connect 2.0, as that will really unlock some exciting features and capabilities for your system. By accessing TC2 through a web browser or mobile app, you can arm and disarm your system, control Z-Wave home automation devices, check system status and more. Speaking of Z-Wave, the Lyric Panel includes a built-in Z-Wave controller for adding devices like lights, locks and thermostats. You can create Total Connect smart scenes for automatic operation of these devices based on predetermined system events.

But perhaps the biggest benefit to the Lyric Alarm System is its ability to be used with Apple HomeKit. This is an interactive platform for iOS users that offers some impressive features when paired with a Lyric Alarm Panel. You can have your HomeKit devices respond automatically based on certain events of your Lyric System. And if you have a compatible HomeKit Hub, such as an iPad or an Apple TV, then you can control your Lyric System remotely using Siri voice commands sent from your iPhone. Simply put, this integration is awesome, and you will surely want to take advantage of it as much as possible! Just remember that you need to have the Lyric activated for monitoring service in order to enable it with Apple HomeKit.

We are sure that you will love your new Lyric System Kit. The panel is super easy to operate, and you will love its 7-inch full-color touchscreen display. And it looks great whether mounted on a wall or rested on a desk or table using the Honeywell LCP500-DK Desk Mount. If you have any questions about our new Lyric 5800MINI Kits, or if you want to learn more about our monitoring plans, please reach out to us by emailing support@alarmgrid.com. We operate support hours from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

Resideo has discovered that certain Honeywell LTE-XV and Honeywell LTE-L3V Communicators have a firmware issue that makes them unable to appear in AlarmNet360. The affected communicators can still process signals and report to the central station. But these affected units must be replaced.

Honeywell lte xv alarmnet verizon lte cellular communicator

The Honeywell LTE-XV is a Verizon LTE Communicator for Honeywell VISTA Systems, while the Honeywell LTE-L3V is a Verizon LTE Communicator for Honeywell L3000 Systems. Only certain LTE-XV and LTE-L3V units are affected. The affected units will have a date code ranging from C305 to C365 or from D001 to D023. Modules outside of those listed dates are unaffected.

If you need to locate the date code for your LTE-XV or LTE-L3V, then it is very easy to find. You can locate the code on the inside of the module itself on the lower-left corner of the MAC sticker. Remember, date codes from C305 to C365 and from D001 to D023 may be affected. These date codes are associated with manufacture dates from November 2019 through January 2020.

Additionally, not all units within the aforementioned date codes are affected. If the communicator has a blue dot on the module or on the product packaging, then it is not affected. The images below show units with blue dots on the packaging, meaning they are not affected by the issue.


Keep in mind that these blue dots will also appear on the communicators themselves. Any communicator with a blue dot is unaffected and does not need to be replaced. Remember, this issue only affects LTE-XV and LTE-L3V units. Other AlarmNet Communicators are not affected.

If you have a Honeywell LTE-XV or Honeywell LTE-L3V without a blue dot on the packaging or on the module itself, check for the listed date code to see if your module is affected. More information on this issue can be found in this document provided from Resideo.

If you believe that you have an affected communicator, or if you need help locating the date code for the module, please contact us at support@alarmgrid.com. We operate support hours from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

Tags: , , , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

The Alarm Grid Video Team has sure had an interesting past few weeks. It all came to head at the start of last week when they uploaded a backlog of seven (7) new videos. No new videos were uploaded after that, so we're rolling with those 7 for this recap. We hope you like the videos!

But where it gets unusual is the fact that four (4) of the new videos featured myself. I don't usually roll up my sleeves and appear in videos, as I don't have quite the star-power of Jorge or the young lad Jarrett. But I was happy to help out. The four videos I appeared in covered the DSC PG9944 Outdoor Image Sensor, which is a great product for anyone with a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus System.

Don't worry - you will still get to enjoy one (1) new video from Jorge and two (2) new videos from that guy wearing the silly Batman jacket. But in all seriousness, we hope you enjoy the new videos and find them helpful in using your security system. Anyway, no more babbling, let's get on with the video recap for the week of February 3rd!


Tilt Sensor That Is Compatible with the Qolsys IQ Panel 2

Jarrett wears a Batman jacket as he explains which tilt sensors are compatible with the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System. A tilt sensor is typically used for monitoring a garage door and letting the system know when it is opened or closed. The original Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System uses 319.5 MHz tilt sensors like the Qolsys IQ Tilt-S. If you have an IQ Panel 2 Plus, then you should choose a 319.5 MHz, 345 MHz, or 433 MHz wireless tilt sensor based on the version of the system you have. Unfortunately, there is not yet a PowerG Tilt Sensor.


Honeywell Lyric Alarm System vs Tuxedo Touch Keypad

A nice and polite young man named Jarrett covers the differences between the Honeywell Lyric Alarm System and the Honeywell Tuxedo Touch Touchscreen Keypad. These are two completely different devices with totally different functions. The Lyric is a standalone wireless alarm panel, while the Tuxedo is a keypad for a Honeywell VISTA System. You cannot use the Tuxedo Touch as a keypad for a Lyric System. If you are wanting a dedicated keypad for your Lyric System, then you should check out the Honeywell LKP500.


Communicators That Are Compatible With the Interlogix Simon XTi-5i

Jorge covers the alarm monitoring communicators that are used with the Interlogix Simon XTi-5i Security System. The Simon XTi-5i needs a cellular communicator to work with the Alarm.com platform. There are plenty of communicator options for the Interlogix Simon XTi-5i System. But the most notable ones are those from the Alarm.com XT-511 lineup. These include the Alarm.com XT-511-US-AT (AT&T LTE), the Alarm.com XT-511-US-VZ (Verizon LTE), the Alarm.com XT-511-CA-TL (Telus LTE), the Alarm.com XT-511-US-DP-AT (AT&T LTE & IP), and the Alarm.com XT-511-US-DP-VZ (Verizon LTE & IP)


Does the PG9944 Take Pictures or Videos?

I explain that the DSC PG9944 Outdoor Image Sensor takes pictures, not videos. An image sensor is basically a still-motion camera combined with a motion detection sensor. They are great alternatives to security cameras. When the PG9944 triggers an alarm on the system, it will begin capturing images. Ten (10) images are taken and sent to the panel. If you have an IQ Panel 2 Plus, you can view these 10 images as a stop-motion video. Additionally, the first of these images will be forwarded to Alarm.com for remote viewing. But the PG9944 has no way of capturing video.


Enrolling the DSC PG9944 w/ the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus

I show you how to enroll the DSC PG9944 with the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. All versions of the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus are capable of supporting PowerG Sensors like the PG9944. The sensor is enrolled by putting the IQ Panel 2 Plus into its enrollment mode and then activating the enrollment function on the sensor to learn it in. The enrollment button can be a little difficult to reach with batteries installed, so you will likely need to use a thin object like a screwdriver to press and hold the button.


Viewing the Images Captured By the PG9944 On the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus

I show you how to view images taken by the PG9944 on the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. The IQ Panel 2 Plus has a Camera Menu where you can see images taken by the system and any enrolled PowerG Image Sensors. This menu is easily accessed by swiping right or left from the main system screen until you reach the appropriate section. The PG9944 takes ten (10) images when it causes a system alarm, and it sends these images to the IQ Panel 2 Plus for local viewing. The images are viewable as a stop-motion video.


Using the PG9944 Outdoors

I explain how the DSC PG9944 is suitable for use in an outdoor environment. The sensor is able to withstand various environmental conditions that are expected to occur outdoors, including rain, wind, dust, heavy sunlight, and extreme temperatures. However, the PG9944 should not be submerged in water at any time. If you are looking for a PowerG Image Sensor to use exclusively indoors, then you might consider the DSC PG9934P instead. The DSC PG9934P is not suitable for use outdoors, but it is smaller and less expensive than the PG9944.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

One great thing about owning a PowerG Security System is that it is super easy to add a wireless siren. DSC manufactures an indoor model and an outdoor model for PowerG users. Whether you are looking for a DSC NEO Wireless Siren or a new siren for an IQ Panel 2 Plus, we have you covered!


The two (2) sirens in the PowerG lineup include the DSC PG9901 Indoor Alarm Siren and the DSC PG9911B Outdoor Alarm Siren w/ Strobe. Both will easily pair with any system that supports PowerG Sensors. These systems include the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, the DSC PowerSeries NEO w/ added PowerG Transceiver, and the DSC Iotega Security System. Both sirens work great, and they can make a nice addition to nearly any compatible alarm panel.

The Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus and the DSC Iotega already include their own built-in sounders that will activate during alarm events. But if you are using the system in a larger home or business, or if you find that the internal sounder isn't loud enough, then you might consider adding an external siren as well. Meanwhile, the DSC PowerSeries NEO Systems are wired panels that are typically paired with hardwired sirens. But if you want to skip the process for wiring a siren, then adding a wireless PowerG Siren can be the perfect solution.

There are two (2) main benefits to adding an external siren with a security system. The first is that most external sirens are louder than the internal sounders built into alarm panels. The Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus and the DSC Iotega both have internal sounders rated at 85 dB. The DSC PG9901 and the DSC PG9911B are both rated at 110 dB. Remember that volume increases exponentially with the decibel (dB) rating, so you are certainly getting a major increase in volume output with a DSC PowerG Wireless Siren.

The other major benefit to adding an external siren is that it spreads the sound out during an alarm event. Just because you add an external siren to your wireless system does not mean that the system's internal siren will stop functioning. Instead, both the system's internal sounder and the added siren will activate during alarm events. If you have the external siren in a different area, then you can really spread the sound out. This can be crucial for making sure that everyone on the premises is alerted.

Sirens activate during intrusion, fire, and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms on a system, unless the alarms are specifically set to silent. There are many purposes to alarm sirens, and every system should have one set up. First and foremost, a siren alerts building occupants to let them know that there is danger and that they need to evacuate immediately. A good alarm siren can mean the difference between life and death in many situations.

Sirens also provide assistance to emergency responders, such as police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians. In the heat of the moment, it can be difficult for a responder to determine which home or business is experiencing an emergency. A siren helps eliminate this issue, as the emergency responder will know to go to the location where the siren is coming from. Lastly, sirens are useful during intrusion alarms, as they will often scare off an intruder and prevent them from sticking around to cause more property damage. This is why every security system should have a functional siren set up and configured. And if you have a larger home or business, then setting up multiple alarm sirens is probably in your best interest.

For basic indoor use, the DSC PG9901 is an ideal option. This DSC Indoor Siren produces sounds of up to 110 dB, which is roughly as loud as an industrial grade chainsaw or a live rock concert in a typical venue. If you need a siren for outdoor use, then you should go with the DSC PG9911B. This siren also operates at 110 dB, but it is built to withstand an outdoor environment with its IP55 protection rating. The DSC PG9911B also includes a built-in strobe light, which can be a nice visual indication of an alarm. Please note that some jurisdictions may have restrictions on the color of strobe lights you can use. Make sure to check local laws and see if blue strobe lights are allowed in your area.

Both the DSC PG9901 and the DSC PG9911B are available from Alarm Grid. We're happy to help you get started with a new PowerG Siren. If you have any questions about the DSC PG9901, the DSC PG9911B, or any of the other products on our site, please contact us at support@alarmgrid.com. We operate support hours from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

Alarm.com was given the opportunity at the 2020 CMS President's Forum to present some of their upcoming features that will soon be made available. The discussion was led by Alarm.com Product Manager Jennie Lee. We are sure that Alarm.com users will love these features that are coming soon!


These upcoming features are designed to prevent Alarm.com users from needing to contact the central monitoring station and instead manage their own security systems more effectively. This is helpful to Criticom Monitoring Services (CMS) in improving response times, and it also provides a more engaging end user experience. Needless to say, we are very excited about what Alarm.com is bringing to the table!

First, Alarm.com is offering an in-app panic feature that makes it possible to trigger a panic alarm right from the Alarm.com Mobile App. This is great if you ever need to discreetly call for help in the event of an emergency. End users can also use the Alarm.com Mobile App to cancel an alarm or verify that an alarm is legitimate. These features must be enabled by your alarm monitoring company. Alarm Grid customers can contact us at support@alarmgrid.com to get started. But please remember that if you are ever experiencing a confirmed burglary or fire while you at the monitored premises to instead call 911 immediately.

Another upcoming feature that Jennie Lee mentioned is the ability for end users to view their central station event logs directly from the Alarm.com Mobile App. End users will be able to see prior alarm events, as well as any emergency dispatches that may have been ordered. By implementing this feature, Alarm.com is hoping to make things more convenient for end users and prevent them from having to contact the central station directly for simple tasks. This feature should also prove to be very useful for system testing purposes.

Jennie Lee also discussed the upcoming in-app test mode feature that will soon be made available for the Alarm.com Mobile App. End users will be able to access the Alarm.com Mobile App to put their systems on test mode when needed. When the system is in test mode using this service, alarm notifications will still be forwarded to the central station. However, any central station operators will know not to dispatch, and no false alarms will occur. An end user can set the time for their system to remain in test mode, and the system will automatically exit test mode once the set time has expired.

Alarm.com is also going to be putting out some useful tools for alarm technicians that should help to improve the customer experience. Technicians will be able to perform zone syncs on Alarm.com customer accounts. This is needed whenever changes are made to system zones and whenever sensors are added, edited, or removed. Another feature that will be made available to technicians is the ability to quickly and conveniently put a system into test mode on behalf of the end user. Technicians will also soon be able to initiate a Walk Test on an end user's behalf for testing specific sensors and zones. The technicians at Alarm Grid will surely appreciate these great new features!

Lastly, Criticom Monitoring Services President Tony Wilson mentioned that CMS will soon have the ability to see images directly from the DSC PG9934P and DSC PG9944 PowerG Image Sensors. These image sensors are widely used with security systems that support PowerG, including the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. Currently, images produced by these devices are visible from Alarm.com, but they aren't made available to Criticom. But that will soon change, as Alarm.com will be able to automatically forward the produced images to the central monitoring station. The PowerG Image Sensors are only able to capture images during alarm events, so as to maintain privacy for the end user. When the system goes into alarm, the image sensor will produce an image every half-second for five (5) seconds straight, for a total of ten (10) images. The first of these images will be sent immediately to Alarm.com and CMS, while the other nine (9) will be made available to the central station operator as a stop-motion video shortly thereafter.

Overall, our team is very impressed with what Alarm.com will soon be putting out. We think that these upcoming features will really help improve the lives of end users, and they will also make the jobs of our support technicians much easier. If you are interested in starting service with Alarm Grid for access to Alarm.com, you can check out our monitoring page for more information. Also remember that you can email us at support@alarmgrid.com to get started. We maintain support hours from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

Tags: ,

Comments


Posted By

On Day 2 of the 2020 Criticom Monitoring Services President's Forum, CMS President Tony Wilson began by leading a talk about the importance of preventing unwanted phone calls to CMS. Unwanted spam phone calls delay response times and prevent efficient operation for a monitoring station.

Anyone with a personal phone most likely deals with unwanted incoming spam phone calls, also referred to as "robo calls". This is unfortunately something that Criticom has to manage as well. Unwanted spam calls to a central station represent a true life-safety issue. These incoming calls prevent central station operators from addressing serious alarms and life-threatening emergencies as quickly as possible. Fortunately, CMS has taken steps to address this issue.

According to CMS President Tony Wilson, Criticom has had success using an app called RoboKiller to prevent incoming spam calls. This app prevents roughly 90% of unwanted spam calls from coming through. This has helped Criticom improve its response times and address alarm events more efficiently. It was also stressed that alarm dealers like Alarm Grid should do their part to prevent spam calls and improve efficiency. This is something that Alarm Grid has been working on for quite some time.

Criticom President Tony Wilson also stressed the importance of getting end users set up with the MyAlarms.com portal. If you aren't familiar with MyAlarms.com, it is a free service offered from Criticom. Any Alarm Grid customer with central station monitoring service can use the platform to conveniently add and update contacts and put their system on test mode when needed. This is all done without needing to contact CMS via a phone call. This keeps the phone lines free, and it improves response times for their operators who need to quickly address incoming alarms.

Another feature that was discussed was the ability for CMS to send text messages directly to end users through short code 60281. End users can get text messages directly from CMS regarding any alarms or system trouble conditions. This prevents CMS agents from having to make direct phone calls, thereby improving response times. Alarm Grid briefly discussed this feature in a post from last year. Although we haven't implemented this feature quite yet, it is something that we are working on adding very soon. Last year, Criticom Monitoring Services sent out nearly 150,000 SMS text messages across their entire customer base.

Overall, it's great to see Criticom Monitoring Services doing their part to improve response times and help keep end users safe. If you are interested in getting started with central station monitoring service, check out our monitoring page to learn how you can do so through Alarm Grid. You are also welcome to email us at support@alarmgrid.com if you have any questions. We operate support hours from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

Tags:

Comments


Posted By

We're here at the second day of the 2020 Criticom Monitoring Services President's Forum. Morning presentation sessions are expected to kick-off at 9am ET. We will hear more from CMS President Tony Wilson, and Alarm.com is expected to present as well. We are anticipating a busy day!

Stay tuned to our blog as we provide you with updates on what we learn from the 2020 CMS President's Forum. There should be some in-depth presentations from industry insiders and experts that we know you will want to hear about. Alarm Grid will be your guide for the rest of the event!

Tags:

Comments


Posted By

The 2020 Criticom Monitoring Services President's Forum really kicked off with a special presentation from CMS President Tony Wilson. We were pleased to receive information on the current state of Criticom, and we also learned about how the company is improving its monitoring centers.


It is important to remember that Criticom Monitoring Services provides monitoring services for a wide variety of alarm monitoring companies, not just Alarm Grid. Criticom works with a huge selection of alarm dealers to help keep homes and businesses monitored and protected. The past year was huge for Criticom, and it's great to see them growing and thriving as a company.

In the past year, Criticom Monitoring Services added 21,367 new customers across all their partnered alarm dealers, and they converted three (3) existing central station companies into Criticom accounts. Of all Criticom partnered dealers in 2019, 31.8% grew in terms of total customers, while about another 30% stayed roughly the same in size. We are proud to say that Alarm Grid successfully grew its total customer base in 2019. In total, Criticom added 134,394 new customers in 2019. As of 2019, the average Criticom customer has been monitored for 6.56 years.

This past year, Criticom central station operators responded to 5,513,144 alarms. Of these, 2,367,050 were considered to be "high priority". The average response time for these high priority alarms was 29 seconds. Criticom also received 1,481,096 inbound calls. The average response time for inbound calls for Criticom was just 16 seconds. These fast response times are important, as they help ensure that you receive the prompt help that you need when an alarm occurs on your security system. We expect Criticom to continue to improve these response times moving forward.

Criticom also made major improvements to their three (3) monitoring facilities in Cypress, CA, Longwood, FL, and Manasquan, NJ. The company added a Potter Fire Alarm System to their Cypress, CA facility in an effort to promote safety. The Longwood, FL facility was remodeled, as the company spent more than $150,000 in improving its overall aesthetics. And the Manasquan, NJ location was outfitted with a new access control system to keep its employees protected and secured. Additionally, Criticom put $540,000 into improving their Compass software, which is used by dealers like Alarm Grid to create and maintain customer accounts. In total, Criticom spent more than $1.2 Million in improving and maintaining their monitoring centers and software.

Looking ahead to the rest of 2020, it is expected that Criticom will continue to invest into their growing infrastructure. The Longwood, FL facility will be outfitted with AT&T Fiber Internet Service, which is expected to cost the company $1 Million. The company also plans to invest $600,000 into a new and improved PBX phone system. Lastly, another $600,000 will be invested into improving and maintaining their Compass software. It's clear that Criticom is making the investments it needs to serve its growing customer base that expects the very best alarm monitoring service available. At Alarm Grid, we are absolutely delighted to see Criticom continuing to do what's right for its partnered dealers and the end users who depend on them.

We expect some more insightful presentations and discussions from Criticom as their 2020 President's Forum Conference continues. Stay tuned to our blog for more. And if you aren't yet signed up with Alarm Grid for monitoring service, make sure to check out our monitoring page, and contact us at support@alarmgrid.com for more information. We operate support hours from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Tags:

Comments


Posted By

Our monitoring partner Criticom Monitoring Services is putting on their 2020 President's Forum. Alarm Grid has a small team out to attend the conference and get important insider knowledge from some of the leading experts who help keep your homes and businesses safe and protected.

If you aren't familiar with Criticom Monitoring Services, they are the exclusive central monitoring station partner of Alarm Grid for accounts in the US. If you are in the US and you have central station monitoring service with Alarm Grid, when your system goes into alarm, then it is Criticom who responds to the incoming alarm signal and alerts the local authorities for emergency dispatch, if necessary.

Criticom operates three (3) 24/7 monitoring centers across the country in California, Florida, and New Jersey. Each monitoring center has many highly trained experts present who are constantly ready to respond to any alarms that may occur on your system. In the event that one monitoring center goes offline for any reason, the other two will be there to pick up the slack and ensure that all incoming alarms are properly dealt with and addressed as soon as possible. This excellent redundancy in making sure that monitored homes and businesses always stay protected is a big reason why Alarm Grid has selected Criticom as one of its central station partners.

Right now, the CMS President's Forum Conference is just getting started. Criticom experts are currently having meet and greets with other security industry representatives. We expect the in-depth presentations and discussions to begin sometime later this afternoon. Stay tuned to our blog for updates from what is sure to be an informative and engaging conference

Tags:

Comments