Industry News and Discussions Posts

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Reed Exhibitions, the organizers of ISC West, has announced that ISC West 2020 has been postponed due to health & safety concerns associated with COVID-19 Coronavirus. The event was scheduled to take place March 18th - 20th. It will now occur in July, with exact dates being confirmed later.

Alarm Grid has provided consistent and extensive coverage of ISC West for several years. Our team had been looking forward to attending and covering the event this year through the previously scheduled dates. While we are disappointed that the event has been postponed, we understand and respect the decision made by Reed Exhibitions. Our team will be ready for the ISC West 2020 event in July. We plan to provide in-depth and comprehensive coverage like we do every single year.

For a full statement from Reed Exhibitions, please click here. Alarm Grid will provide an update once the new dates for ISC West 2020 are confirmed. Keep checking our blog for more details.

Update: ISC West 2020 is now scheduled for Monday, July 20th thru Wednesday July 22nd.

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For a security system owner, remembering to properly arm the system before leaving can be a tough task. It's one of those little things that's easy forget. You forget to grab your your car keys. You leave a door unlocked. You accidentally leave the lights on overnight. These things happen.

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

Another concern we often hear from customers is whether or not they really need to arm their systems if they are just stepping outside for a minute. Maybe they're just taking their dog around the block, or visiting a neighbor across the street, or walking over to a nearby convenience store. They will only be gone for a minute or two. Is it okay to leave the system disarmed in these situations?

Obviously, if you leave your system disarmed while you are away and an intruder decides to make a quick break-in, there is little that can be done. Security cameras can capture the event happening, but they aren't going to trigger an emergency response if your system is disarmed. If your system isn't ready to trigger an alarm, and you aren't around to stop an intruder, then there is very little that can be done.

With that in mind, we at Alarm Grid recommend that you always arm your system before heading out, even if it's only going to be for a brief moment. You invest into your security system for a reason. Don't let it go to waste. Protect your belongings and your property. Take the extra second or two and arm your system.

Of course, that is just our advice to you as a monitoring company. We totally understand that some users are going that have that "ah, I'll only be gone a second" mentality. And that's up to you. As an end user, you are in complete control, and if you are comfortable leaving your system disarmed when stepping out for a brief moment, then that is up to you. Just understand that we are not liable if you forget or decide not to arm your home alarm system.

One thing you might do is consider your own personal situation. Maybe it's okay to leave your system disarmed if you're just over at the neighbors, and you can visibly see your house? Maybe you can bring your Android or iOS Phone with you and arm using Total Connect 2.0 or if it turns out you're going to be away longer than you thought? Maybe your can add a key fob to your system to make it easier to quickly arm when walking out the door, instead of needing to enter a code or pull up a mobile app.

Ultimately, how you use your system is up to you. We recommend always arming, even if you're only going to be gone for a little bit. It's not worth the risk to your property, and securely arming/disarming your system can be such a quick and easy task if you add the right equipment. Nearly every alarm panel can be set up with some type of one-touch arming and disarming function to make the process as simple as possible.

We also understand that some users might have the intention of always arming, but they simply forget to do so. We have some tips for these users as well. You might have a secondary keypad right by the door that you will always see when walking out. That way, you will always remember to arm your system. If you don't want to add a new keypad, you could just put a sticky note on the door to remind you. And if your system is monitored, then you can set up geofencing arming reminders through an interactive service like Total Connect 2.0 or There are many options available.

Remember that many wireless security systems today also often serve as automation controllers. This way, you can use an app on your phone to control the various devices around your home from anywhere. If you forget to turn off your lights, leave your thermostat running, or leave your door unlocked, then you can control the affected device while you are away. This is great for anyone who might be a little absentminded from time to time! Plus, it's good to know that you can always lock/unlock your door or turn your lights ON or OFF if needed. You just need the proper equipment.

Our job is to provide you with reliable monitoring service and the equipment you need to stay protected and secure. You just need to make sure you arm your system when leaving your home. If you need any more tips for remembering to arm your system, or if you want to learn more about any of our products or services that may make it easier for your to use your system, just reach out to us by emailing We operate support hours from 9am to 8pm ET M-F, and we are happy to help you out. We look forward to hearing from you!

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The Grover Beach Police Department (GBPD) has recently announced that fines for false alarms will soon be increased. The department says that it is making this change to reduce wasted resources. End users should take proactive measures to prevent false alarms and avoid fines and fees.

Starting April 1st, users in Grover Beach, CA will be required to pay an annual $25 alarm permit fee and register their security systems with the city. This permit fee applies to both residential and business users. An alarm permit in Grover Beach is valid for one year, and a $25 fee is required for renewal. Grover Beach residents and business owners can apply for alarm system permits at this link.

The break down for false alarm fines for registered users is as follows:

  • $50 for 1st False Alarm
  • $75 for 2nd False Alarm
  • $100 for 3rd False Alarm
  • $200 for All Subsequent False Alarms

The break down for false alarm fines for non-registered users is as follows:

  • $150 for 1st False Alarm
  • $175 for 2nd False Alarm
  • $200 for 3rd False Alarm
  • $300 for All Subsequent False Alarms

According to the GBPD, the department wastes about $30,000 each year dealing with false alarms. Most of these false alarms can be prevented through proper usage and understanding of a security system. As an alarm monitoring company, Alarm Grid encourages customers with central station monitoring service to prevent false alarms by taking proactive measures. These include setting appropriate Entry and Exit Delays and enabling alarm report delays if necessary.

From our perspective the new false alarm policies for Grover Beach, CA seem tough, but fair. While we are never fans of annual fees for alarm permits, we do believe that end users need to be held accountable for managing their security systems. We also understand that some fees are occasionally needed for maintaining this type of support. Fortunately, most responsible security system users do not cause false alarms. Most users in Grover Beach, CA will likely pay nothing more than this $25 permit fee and the monitoring fees from their alarm companies.

Taking measures to prevent false alarms is very important, as they can prevent the local authorities from dealing with serious issues. Additionally, repeated false alarms can result in the police not taking a real alarm seriously. If your system is repeatedly causing false alarms, then the authorities might not feel like it is important to urgently respond in the event that a real emergency occurs. We understand and respect the decision from Grover Beach to begin implementing a false alarm policy.

For more information on preventing false alarms, or if you want to learn more about Alarm Grid monitoring services, please email us at We operate support hours from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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As you have likely heard, mainland China is currently dealing with the Coronavirus crisis. This disease has resulted in inventory shortages and manufacturing delays throughout the security industry. Certain products sold by Alarm Grid may be currently unavailable or delayed as a result.

Many of the products sold by Alarm Grid are backordered as China deals with this epidemic. This is completely out of our control, and there is very little we can do to combat the issue. If an item you have ordered is unavailable, we will do our best to recommend a suitable replacement or provide you with an estimate on when the product should be available. We apologize for any inconvenience that may result from this issue. We ask for your understanding and patience during this time. If you would like to know the status of a specific product or if you have any questions about any of the products on our site, please email us at Remember that our support hours run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Alarm Grid has learned that the alarm permit policy in Colorado Springs, CO also applies to self-monitored users. This is in addition to those who receive central station monitoring service. All Alarm Grid monitored customers in Colorado Springs, CO are required to have a permit.

Many jurisdictions charge fees for operating an alarm system within their limits. However, these rules usually only apply to systems that are connected with a central monitoring station. It is very unusual to see a city mandate a fee for a self-monitored system. But Colorado Springs is one of the few examples.

If you aren't familiar with self-monitoring, it refers to the practice of having a secured system that is monitored, but not connected with a central station. When the system goes into alarm, it sends a signal out to a monitoring platform, such as AlarmNet or That platform then forwards the signal to the end user via text and/or email. It is then up to the user to request help, if needed.

Monitoring permits in Colorado Springs, CO are renewed annually at the cost of $24 for residences and businesses, and $12 for senior residents. You can learn more about alarm permits in Colorado Springs, CO by checking the Colorado Springs Police Department website here.

At Alarm Grid, we are not fond of alarm permits. They make it more difficult for individuals to protect themselves, their businesses, and, most importantly, their families. However, they are something that we have no control over. As a law-abiding company, we play by the rules, and we inform any customer in a jurisdiction that requires alarm permits to obtain one.

If you are a new or existing Alarm Grid customer wondering if alarm permits are required in your area, then you should contact us at We are also happy to discuss our monitoring plans if you want to learn more about our services. We operate support hours from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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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 We operate support hours from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Posted By 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 Product Manager Jennie Lee. We are sure that users will love these features that are coming soon!

These upcoming features are designed to prevent 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 is bringing to the table!

First, is offering an in-app panic feature that makes it possible to trigger a panic alarm right from the 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 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 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 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, 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 Mobile App. End users will be able to access the 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. 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 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, but they aren't made available to Criticom. But that will soon change, as 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 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 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, you can check out our monitoring page for more information. Also remember that you can email us at to get started. We maintain support hours from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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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 portal. If you aren't familiar with, 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 if you have any questions. We operate support hours from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!



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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 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!



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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 for more information. We operate support hours from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you soon!