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The police department in Sandy Springs, GA is one of several that adhere to a policy of Verified Response when it comes to burglar alarms. They require proof that a crime has occurred before they will respond. Proof can come in one of several forms, which we will be discussing here.

Different police jurisdictions define verified response in different ways with different verification criteria. In some jurisdictions, a second burglar alarm activation on a different zone within the same address occurring within a certain period of time qualifies as verification. For others, there must be audio, video, or onsite verification before the police will respond. In Sandy Springs, GA, the latter type of verification is required. The full Alarm Dispatch Guidelines for Sandy Springs, GA can be found here.

This is not to say that the City of Sandy Springs or any other police department that otherwise requires verification won't respond to any type of alarm without proof of an issue at the site. For most jurisdictions, if there is a Panic, Duress, Hold-up, Medical, CO, Elevator or Fire alarm, the requirement for verification is waived and immediate dispatch can be requested. But, at least in the case of Sandy Springs, if authorities respond and there is no evidence of criminal activity or any other emergency, then false alarm fees will apply.

Furthermore, if a monitoring station employee requests public safety dispatch on an alarm based on audio or video proof that a crime is occurring or has occurred, then Sandy Springs requires that they submit proof of verification within 24 Hours of the dispatch request. Failure to do so will incur additional fines! Proof can either be described to the monitoring station employee by the end-user after checking their cameras or other means of verification, or it can come from the monitoring station employee themselves having reviewed audio or video evidence. The burden of proof has been placed squarely on the monitoring company.

If a customer has an alarm system that uses Audio Alarm Verification, sometimes referred to as 2-Way Voice, then the monitoring station can use this to verify if an unauthorized individual is onsite. In the case of Sandy Springs, silence does not count as proof of an issue, the monitoring station dispatcher must hear footsteps, talking, sounds of rummaging, or other proof of an issue at the site. If the customer has video surveillance, either the customer, or in some cases the monitoring station, can use the video system to verify if an alarm is an actual break-in. The customer may even have a friendly neighbor who is willing to receive a notification from the alarm monitoring company and will go and check things out for them and report back.

However, not every monitoring company will support 2-Way Voice. Currently at Alarm Grid, we don't support this option. And not every customer wants to blanket their property with security cameras. Some properties are too large, or too far away from neighbors to make relying on a neighbor a viable option. In these cases, the best option may be to employ a guard service.

In the past few years, Alarm Grid has partnered with a company called Vet Sec to provide an onsite guard response to monitored locations in jurisdictions such as Sandy Springs. Vet Sec employs guards, in most cases these guards are unarmed or they may be armed with non-lethal weapons (tasers). Once an alarm occurs, the monitoring station will contact Vet Sec, rather than the local police department. A single guard will respond and check the location for signs of a break-in or any other criminal activity, such as vandalism. If evidence of a crime is found, they will notify the monitoring station and wait up to 30 minutes for a key holder and the authorities to arrive. In exchange, they charge a fee for this site visit. The price may vary by location. In most cases, the police should respond within 30 minutes, but if it takes longer for them to arrive, and the customer or other key holder wants the guard to wait with them, then additional fees may apply.

There are several great things about this service. For one, just like with Alarm Grid monitoring, there is no contract so a customer can cancel at any time. Also, this is a "pay as you go" service, so a customer is only billed if a guard actually responds to their monitored location. The fees are billed to Alarm Grid and are then applied to the customer's monthly monitoring fee on the next automatic bill date. Alarm Grid does not markup this fee, we simply pass the fee along to the customer. What we pay, you pay.

Areas in the United States where Verified Response is Required:

State City Guard Service Available?
Alaska Cantwell No
Delta Junction No
Fairbanks No
Galena No
Healy No
Nenana No
Northway No
Tok No
Arizona Surprise No
California Fontana Yes
Colorado Fort Collins No
Golden Yes
Georgia Sandy Springs Yes
Michigan Detroit Yes
Nevada Henderson Yes
Las Vegas Yes
North Las Vegas Yes
Golden Yes
Oregon Eugene Yes (Within City Limits Only)
Washington Bellingham Yes
Burien Yes
Wenatchee No
Kent (Commercial Only) No
Yakima Yes
Seattle (Recommended, not Required) Yes
Wisconsin Milwaukee Yes
Golden Yes
Utah Salt Lake City Yes
Golden Yes

Please keep in mind that this list is something that may evolve with little notice. It may be difficult to keep the list 100% accurate, but we will do our best. There have actually been a few places where the police department tried using verified response, and then changed their mind due to increases in property crime. San Jose, CA is one that comes to mind. It was reported in 2019 that they had decided to change their policy and move away from requiring verified response.

You may have noticed that the list above didn't feature any locations from our neighbor to the north. There are a couple of places in Canada that require a version of verified response. Winnipeg, Manitoba, and London and Toronto, Ontario have all adopted a more lax definition of this type of verification. In all three of these locations, the police department will accept two or more activations of two or more separate burglary zones as a form of verification. Currently, Alarm Grid does not offer a guard service in any of the Canadian provinces. If this changes, we'll be sure to update this blog post.

So, of course the burning question is, "How much does it cost?" For most locations the charge is $45 per site visit. There are a few locations where the price differs. In Sandy Springs, GA, the price is $68 per site visit. In Albuquerque, NM customers currently pay $57.07 per visit, and in Eugene, OR the price is $60 per site visit.

What do you think of the Verified Response Policy recently implemented in Sandy Springs, GA? Is it overdue, or overreach? Tell us what you think in the comments below. We'd love to hear from you. Stay tuned to our blog for more exciting security industry news. If you need help figuring out what system you have in the house you just moved into, or you're looking to upgrade an existing system, or to install one for the first time, reach out to us via email at support@alarmgrid.com. We're here Monday - Friday from 9 am to 8 pm Eastern. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Qolsys IQ Panel 2 and IQ Panel 2 Plus users will be pleased to learn that a new firmware update is available! Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Firmware Version 2.6.1 can be downloaded via patch tag right now. Alarm Grid recommends that IQ2 and IQ2+ users download the update at their earliest convenience.

Important Note: For those looking for the 2.6.1 Firmware File needed to update the panel using an SD Card, we will make that file available as soon as possible. Qolsys has not yet posted it. However, when the SD Card method is used, the panel will still need a WIFI connection, and active monitoring in order to be sure the panel updates properly. For this reason, unmonitored systems should not attempt this update method unless the user is absolutely sure the "Firmware2" update is not needed on the system. For those who need the "Firmware2" update, it is recommended that the Patchtag method of updating discussed below be used.

Before we get into how to download Firmware Version 2.6.1, we would like to discuss what the new update includes. This isn't a particularly loaded update, but it still includes some new features, plus some important fixes and general system improvements. For those reasons, updating at your earliest convenience is advised.

There is a new Sensor Group for motion sensors, that being Sensor Group (45) - Away/Stay Instant Non-Follower. This is just like Sensor Group (15) - Stay Instant, except that the new Sensor Group (45) will still have the system go into alarm if the sensor is faulted while the system is armed away or armed stay, even if an Entry/Exit Zone is faulted first. With the old Sensor Group (15), the system will not go into alarm if the sensor is faulted after (following) an Entry/Exit Zone. In other words, if you fault a sensor with Sensor Group (45) while the system is in its Entry Delay countdown, an alarm will occur, but if you do the same with Sensor Group (15) when the system is in its Entry Delay countdown, no alarm occurs.

For SD Card upgrades, there will be an auto-push of the "Firmware2" Patch from Alarm.com, assuming that the patch hasn't already been applied. This patch prevents certain IQ2 Panels from automatically rebooting at times. You can see more information about the Firmware2 fix from this prior blog post. The only other new feature release from the 2.6.1 release is that the IQ2 is now compliant with BS-8243 Standards in the United Kingdom.

All other changes for the IQ2 in 2.6.1 are general system improvements. As listed below:

  • Fixed an issue regarding SRF Sensors, outlined in TSB 210705. This issue prevented legacy SRF sensors from communicating with the IQ2 properly following an AC power loss condition. More information on the issue can be found here.
  • Stability improvements to dual-path communication with Alarm.com.
  • Improved push notification of message center messages while on Photo Frame screensaver.
  • Improved boot-up after performing a software update.
  • Improved doorbell camera streaming and push alerts when the panel is in the lock screen.
  • Alarm.com backend now shows username when arming/disarming from PowerG Keypads.
  • Corrected issue with an improvement from 2.6.0 so that silent and audible panics triggered from the panel are able to properly report as different CID codes to the central station.
  • Corrected issue from 2.6.0 involving daily & weekly communication tests with central station.

With that out of the way, let's explain how to apply the update! Like all of the other recent updates, users on Firmware Version 2.5.0 or 2.5.1 will need to stage upgrade to 2.5.3 first before upgrading to 2.6.1. But if you are on 2.5.3 or higher or on less than 2.5.0, then you can go right to 2.6.1. And as always, your system must be on at least 2.0.1 for any firmware update to be applied.

To get started applying the update, make sure your IQ2 or IQ2+ is plugged in and that its battery is charged. Your system must be connected to WIFI and actively monitored so that Alarm.com can determine if the Firmware2 update is required, and then send it to the panel via WIFI if it is. Begin from the main screen of the system. Press the small grey bar at the top. Pick Settings > Advanced Settings > enter the Installer Code if prompted (default 1111) > Upgrade Software > Patch Tag > enter iqpanel2.6.1 (must be entered exactly as shown) > OK > Upgrade Using Network. The update should then go through. Once it begins, do not touch the panel screen.

Remember, it will usually take about five (5) minutes for the update to be completed. You can then check the Software Version in the About Menu under the Software tab. This is good for confirming that the 2.6.1 Firmware Update went through as intended.


Please leave a comment down below with your thoughts on Qolsys IQ Panel 2 and IQ Panel 2 Plus Firmware Version 2.6.1. Don't hesitate to let us know about your experience with the panel or the firmware update. We want to hear your honest opinion and assist with any issues. Like always, stay tuned to the Alarm Grid Blog for more news and updates coming soon!

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Qolsys recently released a service bulletin describing an issue with certain IQ Hardwire 16-F units. This issue affects both the small enclosure and large enclosure versions. Under certain circumstances, affected units can signal a false tamper/tamper restore message for connected zones.

Qolsys TSB #210708, which was released on July 8, 2021, describes this issue, and the corrective action Qolsys is taking to remedy the problem. They do not provide a lot of information regarding what "conditions" bring about this behavior. We have asked for more detail, and if more information is forthcoming, we will provide updates here in our blog.

Rest assured that only a certain number of these devices are affected, and we will provide users with the necessary information to determine if they have one of these units. Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F units that were manufactured outside of the window in question are not affected and should not exhibit this behavior.

How to determine if your Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F small enclosure (SKU: QS7133-840) is affected:

On the unit itself, or on the box that the unit came in, check the Revision Sticker. This will appear as a bar code on the sticker and will be marked with SN: and DL: If the 4th character of the SN, moving from left to right, is a "C" then the Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F small enclosure should be returned/replaced.

How to determine if your Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F large enclosure (SKU: QS7134-840) is affected:

On the Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F large enclosure, the way you determine the revision is the same, but the revision information is different. On these units the revision to be on the lookout for is "B" rather than "C". This sticker should also appear on the unit itself as well as on the box that the unit comes in. Since these devices come from the factory with an enclosure, the sticker may be on the enclosure rather than the printed circuit board. When reading the sticker, the 4th character when viewing the SN from left to right is "B" on affected units. See the example below:

Qolsys has pulled back available affected stock to correct this issue. Units that may have been affected, but have since been pulled back into manufacturing and reworked or replaced, will sport a sticker that says "TEST OK".


If you purchase a Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F that falls within the Revision range discussed above, but the item has a "TEST OK" sticker affixed somewhere on the packaging or the unit itself, then you do not have to worry about this issue. If you purchased a Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F prior to the date that this notice was released, and your device falls within the revision range discussed above, then you should contact your distributor to discuss replacing the unit. Per Qolsys, you should do this even if you haven't observed the behavior described in this Technical Service Bulletin.

If you are an Alarm Grid customer, and you purchased an affected unit from Alarm Grid, you can contact us at support@alarmgrid.com. We are here Monday - Friday from 9am to 8pm ET. If you prefer to speak to us by phone, you can reach us at 888-818-7728. It is our pleasure to assist you with any and all of your alarm needs. Stay safe!

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We have learned from Alarm.com that some new features will soon be made available for the Alarm.com ADC-SWM150 Smart Water Valve and Meter. The new device features will be accessible on the latest version of the Alarm.com Mobile App for Android and iOS, Alarm.com Mobile App Version 4.19.2.


According to Alarm.com, iOS users "can select specific days to view their water usage and scroll back in the history to see how their usage has changed over time." The Alarm.com Mobile App will allow them to select specific days within the past thirty (30) days and view their water usage for the selected day(s). Users will also be able to review their usage history across the past 30 days. This is great for monitoring your water usage to make sure that you aren't being wasteful or letting your water conservation practices slip.

As for Android users, the new features seem to be a bit more limited, but the Android version of the app will still allow you to access an all-new "water usage graph" to check water usage across the last seven (7) days. All water-related activity will be found within the Alarm.com Mobile App Water Card, which is easily accessible from your Android or iOS device.

Keep in mind that the new Alarm.com ADC-SWM150 features may not be available just yet. They are being included with Alarm.com Mobile App Version 4.19.2. According to Alarm.com, the new ADC-SWM150 updates will be made available "in the coming weeks", so just keep your eyes open for these updates, and look forward to them coming soon! We know it's a bit early to get excited and eager, but we want you to hit the ground running once these features are available. Stay alert for the new Alarm.com Updates, and be ready once they are here!

If you aren't familiar with the Alarm.com ADC-SWM150, it is a Z-Wave Plus smart water valve that you can use to control the water supply for a location. It is great for turning the water OFF to prevent damage in the event of a serious flood or leak. Many users use these devices in conjunction with flood sensors, and they create smart scenes so that the water valve is CLOSED and the water is SHUT OFF automatically upon a flood sensor detecting a leak and alerting the security system. The unique aspect of the ADC-SWM150 is that it also includes a meter for monitoring and tracking your water usage over time. The ADC-SWM150 is fitted to water pipes of up to 1.25" (31.75mm) in size. It is typically installed by a plumber.

In addition, Alarm Grid recently began offering the Qolsys IQ Water Valve Kits that include both a water valve and a flood sensor. Unlike the ADC-SWM150, the Qolsys IQ Water Valve devices are a bit more DIY-friendly, as they are actually designed to be self-installed by end users, with no need to hire a plumber. However, a Qolsys IQ Water Valve Kit does not include any water meter for tracking water usage, like the one you receive with the ADC-SWM150. For users who decide upon the Qolsys IQ Water Valve Kits, they are available in two (2) distinct variants, those being the Qolsys IQWV908-KIT-PG (PowerG), and the Qolsys IQWV908-KIT-SL (319.5 MHz S-Line)

The Alarm.com ADC-SWM150 and the Qolsys IQ Water Valve Kits are available now on the Alarm Grid website. Do you have any thoughts or questions on these products? Leave a comment down below, and get the discussion flowing along - these are water valves after all! Our team is always interested in what you have to say about the newest security products and services. And of course, remember to keep checking the Alarm Grid Blog for more news and updates coming soon!

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Alarm Grid is happy to announce that the Honeywell Home PROSIXRPTR Wireless Repeater is now available for purchase. The wireless repeater works with Honeywell Home and Resideo PROSIX Sensors and Honeywell SiX Sensors used with the ProSeries Security Panels, including the PROA7PLUS.

If you aren't familiar with wireless repeaters, these devices effectively double the range of compatible wireless sensors. This works by taking the wireless signal sent out from a wireless sensor and sending it out a second time, thereby effectively repeating the signal and doubling the sensor's range, assuming that the repeater module is placed strategically. The PROSIXRPTR is the first wireless repeater released from Resideo since the Honeywell 5800RP Wireless Repeater which is used to repeat the wireless signals of Honeywell 5800 Sensors. The new PROSIXRPTR is also the first-ever encrypted wireless repeater released by Resideo. Up to two (2) PROSIXRPTR devices can be used with a ProSeries System, with each repeater being placed in a different direction from a centralized ProSeries Panel.

There's a lot to take in with the PROSIXRPTR, so we'll do our best to cover everything here. The first thing we want to note is that the PROSIXRPTR is not a "plug-and-play" device, as you may be accustomed to with most wireless repeaters. In other words, the PROSIXRPTR will not begin repeating wireless signals until it is enrolled with a ProSeries Panel. These panels include the aforementioned PROA7PLUS, the Resideo PROA7PLUSC, the Resideo PROA7C, and the Honeywell Home PROA7. Any ProSeries Alarm System in need of a PROSIXRPTR Wireless Repeater must be on at least Firmware Version 3.591.92.0, which you can read about in greater detail here. The reason why the PROSIXRPTR needs to be enrolled with the alarm panel is because it is interacting with encrypted signals, and it needs to know sensitive network information to do its job successfully. Although you can have two (2) different PROSIXRPTR modules paired with a single ProSeries Panel, the two units will not communicate or "talk with" each other in anyway, and you cannot use a "series" setup to "triple" the range by having a sensor signal bounce off of one PROSIXRPTR to another PROSIXRPTR on its way to the panel. The PROSIX or SiX wireless signal will only be recognized by a single PROSIXRPTR, it will get repeated once, and will then end up at the ProSeries alarm panel.

There are other limitations affecting the PROSIXRPTR Repeater that should be discussed. While the unit can repeat SiX Sensors used with a ProSeries Alarm Panel on a high enough firmware version, the PROSIXRPTR cannot repeat the signals for SiX Series Sensors used on a Honeywell Lyric Security System. Remember, the PROSIXRPTR must enroll with the panel it is being used with. The unit has no way of integrating with the Lyric, and it cannot repeat wireless SiX Series signals used with that system. Unfortunately, Resideo never released a repeater for the Lyric and SiX Sensors, so that is just a limitation that Lyric users will have to live with, at least for now. The PROSIXRPTR also cannot repeat the signals of any legacy sensors that are being used with the Honeywell Home PROTAKEOVER Module. There are various legacy wireless repeaters available, so please reach out to us at support@alarmgrid.com during our usual 9am to 8pm ET M-F business hours if you need help figuring out which one to get for your alarm system.

One other thing we want to note with the PROSIXRPTR is that while it comes with its own transformer and backup battery, it does not come with any cabling for connecting the transformer. Make sure you have some around when you go to set it up. The unit supports a wire run of up to fifty (50) feet (~15.2 meters) when using 18 AWG cabling, and the maximum distance goes down if thinner cabling is used, so make sure to observe the permitted wire runs. Alarm Grid offers alarm wiring on its website if you need some. We even offer 10 ft., 15 ft., and 25 ft., pre-cut lengths of 22 gauge, 4-conductor wire. Or, you should be able to find some at your local hardware store. You can also use a Honeywell LT-Cable if you don't want to prepare your own wiring.

The PROSIXRPTR can be purchased on our website now! Please email us if you have any questions. Also, don't forget to leave a comment down below to share your thoughts on this new unit. We would love to hear what you have to say. And of course, keep paying close attention to the Alarm Grid Blog if you want to hear the latest security news, tips, and product releases. We'll be back soon, so stay posted!

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In an effort to reduce false alarms, the city of Asheville, NC has revised existing policies regarding security systems. Central station operators responding to alarms in Asheville must now use Enhanced Call Verification (ECV) before dispatching. New fines and fees have also been introduced.

Asheville has had an alarm ordinance in-place since at least 2002. The newly revised ordinance was passed unanimously by the Asheville City Council during a recent meeting on June 22. No comment was made by the council in response to the unanimous passing of the revised ordinance. However, some local police representatives at the meeting spoke out in favor of the revised ordinance. For a complete look at the revised policies, you may review this staff report uploaded by the city of Asheville.

As part of the revised policies, the use of ECV is now required before a central station operator is permitted to dispatch the authorities in response to an alarm. This means that an operator must make a minimum of two (2) attempts to contact the end-user for alarm verification purposes before they can request that local Asheville authorities visit the scene. The use of ECV is not required for fire alarms or user-triggered panic alarms. It is also not mandated in cases where it has already been confirmed that a crime has been committed.

According to representatives of the Asheville Police Department (APD), the use of ECV reduces false responses by 40%. A report produced by the APD states that local Asheville authorities responded to more than 15,600 burglar alarms from January 2018 to May 2021. Of these, burglar alarms, 97% of them were concluded to be false. This equates to 15,132 false alarms. While those figures might seem very high at first glance, the reality is that many other jurisdictions also report similar issues. One example can be seen in Panama City, FL.

In addition to mandating the use of ECV, the city of Asheville has also introduced new fines and fees in relation to false alarms and the general use of alarm systems. Anyone who wants to legally operate an alarm system in the city must obtain a permit, at a cost of $25. This permit must then be renewed annually, at a cost of $10 per renewal.

The revised ordinance also carried over existing fines and penalties in relation to the misuse of alarm systems. Any registered user is basically given a warning for their first two (2) false alarms in a calendar. But any third or subsequent false alarm is deemed a "public nuisance", and a user will be charged fines of $50 for their third, fourth, and fifth false alarms within that time period. From there, the sixth and seventh false alarms will result in $100 fines, the eighth and ninth false alarms will result in $250 fines, and any tenth and subsequent false alarms in a single calendar year will result in $500 fines.

In situations where a user is found to be more than thirty (30) days late in paying a fee or fine will be fine an additional $25 as a late fee. A user may formally appeal any fine, though this will result in an "appeal hearing fee" of $50. This fee will be reimbursed in the event that the appeal is upheld. All appeals must be submitted in writing and filed in the police chief's office within ten (10) days of a fine being issued.

Furthermore, the city may elect to formally suspend all emergency service responses to any user responsible for more than ten (10) false alarms in a calendar year, as well as any user who is more than ninety (90) days behind on any alarm-related fee or fine. In order to have services reinstated, a user must have their alarm system formally inspected, receive training on the use of alarm system, complete an online alarm awareness class and test, and pay all outstanding fees and fines, plus a reinstatement fee of $50.

Overall, it's easy to understand why the Asheville City Council would feel compelled to toughen their policies against alarm systems. When roughly 97% of alarm responses are deemed to be the result of unnecessary false alarms, it makes sense to feel a bit frustrated. Perhaps even more unfortunate is the fact that most jurisdictions throughout the United States likely experience similar problems and issues in regards to false alarms.

However, policies like these often make it more difficult for responsible, law-obeying citizens to obtain and operate security systems. The truth is that the vast majority of security system users do not cause excessive false alarms. It's usually a very small minority of system users who ruin it for everyone else. At Alarm Grid, we believe that the best solution is to train alarm system users so that they can operate their equipment responsibly and not add to a growing problem. We do our part by training our monitored customers in the responsible operation of security systems and false alarm prevention. We strongly encourage every security system user to review our guidelines for preventing false alarms. Following those tips will go a long way towards easing the burden placed on police forces and discouraging local jurisdictions from taking the matter into their own hands by enacting policies like this one in Asheville, NC.

Fortunately, the policies in Asheville seem to be reasonable for the most part. Giving users warnings for the first two (2) false alarms caused in a year is appreciated. Mistakes happen, and usually the embarrassment of causing even just one (1) false alarm is enough to make a user extra cautious moving forward. On the other end of the spectrum, the fines for causing excessive false alarms - particularly the $500 fine for every tenth and subsequent alarm beyond that - are some of the most extreme that we have ever seen. But that being said, we totally understand the reasoning here. A user who is causing that many false alarms in a one-year period is clearly not operating their system in a responsible manner. Punishing such end-users for this reckless and careless behavior can certainly be argued as fair. Also, while we're never fans of charging users fees for basic system registration, the $25 initial fee and $10 annual renewal fee isn't worth getting upset over.

What we would like to see as part of any alarm ordinance policy enacted by Asheville, NC, or any other jurisdiction for that matter, is some protection against monitoring companies like Alarm Grid. The formal staff report put out by Asheville outlines the responsibilities and duties expected of alarm companies, and it doesn't mention fining them in any way. But on that same note it doesn't mention any specific protections for monitoring providers. We have seen some states enact specific laws that prevent local jurisdictions from levying fines and fees against monitoring companies. For example, Tennessee signed such a law in 2019, Iowa started enforcing one last year, and Georgia's new policy from earlier this year put an end to a controversial situation in Sandy Springs, GA, where alarm companies were being fined by the city.

Do you have any thoughts on the revised alarm policy in Asheville, NC? Does your city have any similar provisions put in place. Would such provisions discourage you from getting your home or business monitored. Share your thoughts in a comment down below. We would love to hear what you have to say. And stay tuned to the Alarm Grid Blog for more security news and updates coming soon!

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Alarm Grid has learned that its supplier for Honeywell Home and Resideo ProSeries Panels will have ProSeries Alarm Systems pre-installed with the latest Firmware Version 3.591.92.0 in-stock and ready to ship starting on June 28th. This is is great news for anyone considering these systems!

For reference, the ProSeries Security Panels include the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS, the Resideo PROA7PLUSC, the Honeywell Home PROA7, and the Resideo PROA7C. When these systems were first released, they did not include local programming support, meaning that all system programming, including the enrollment of new sensors, had to be completed remotely by the user's alarm monitoring company. It wasn't until System Firmware Version 3.591.92.0 that Local Programming Mode became available, allowing end-users to program their ProSeries Systems themselves. In addition to Local Programming Mode, the update also introduced support for additional PROSIX Series Sensors, common lobby partition support, local alarm mode, severe weather alerts from Total Connect 2.0, and more. If you would like more information on Firmware Update 3.591.92.0, we strongly encourage you to view this blog on the subject.

It is important to note that just because you order a ProSeries Alarm Panel on or after June 28th does not necessarily mean that the system you receive will have Firmware Version 3.591.92.0 pre-installed. It is possible that our supplier may still have older stock to get rid of first, and they may not begin shipping panels with Firmware Version 3.591.92.0 pre-installed until their older stock has been depleted. We have no control over which stock they decide to ship, so we cannot predict whether the panel you receive will be on the latest firmware or older firmware. You can check the firmware version for your ProSeries Panel after it has been powered on by clicking on the three (3) horizontal bars menu button on the home screen, and then selecting Tools, entering the system's Installer Code (default 4112), selecting System Information, and then clicking on the General field. The panel's installed Firmware Version will be displayed on the screen. Remember, you need Version 3.591.92.0 or higher for local programming support.

If you receive an older ProSeries Alarm Panel without the latest firmware, then it is not the end of the world. Once you get the system activated for alarm monitoring service with Alarm Grid, or with another company, the firmware can then be pushed down over-the-air (OTA) to the ProSeries Panel. Please note that this will require an active internet communication pathway for the ProSeries Panel. The Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS and Resideo PROA7PLUSC can readily connect with a WIFI network for this purpose, thanks to the Honeywell Home PROWIFIZW Module that comes pre-installed inside these systems.

But if you have a PROA7 or a PROA7C, then you must add a PROWIFIZW or a PROWIFI to get the system connected to the internet before a firmware update can be sent down. Keep in mind that a ProSeries System cannot receive a firmware update across cellular. This means that it will not be possible to send a firmware update if the ProSeries Panel is using a Honeywell Home PROLTE-A or Honeywell Home PROLTE-V as its only communicator. You must add one of the aforementioned IP communicators and connect the system to a WIFI network for the firmware update to be sent down. Additionally, the system must be activated for monitoring, must have AC power, must have a battery present iin the panel, and must not have an alarm memory condition at the time the firmware update is sent down. If these conditions aren't met the process will fail.

If you are an Alarm Grid monitored customer and you need to request a firmware update for your ProSeries Security System, then you should email us at support@alarmgrid.com to get started. Remember that our business hours for checking and responding to incoming emails run from 9 am to 8 pm ET M-F. If you have any thoughts or personal experiences with the ProSeries Panels from Honeywell Home and Resideo, then please share them in a comment down below. We would love to hear what you have to say. And remember to keep checking the Alarm Grid Security Blog for more news and updates coming soon!

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The Security Industry Association (SIA) recently announced the winners of the 2021 SIA New Product Showcase Awards. We are pleased to say that the 2GIG Edge was named as an Honorable Mention in the field of Smart Home Solutions. Congratulations 2GIG and Nortek for your continued success!

Determined by a panel of experienced judges, the New Product Showcase Awards, also called the NPS Awards, have been presented since 1979. The purpose of these awards is to recognize innovative security products, services, and solutions that benefit the industry and end-users alike. This year, 35 judges determined the award winners in more than 25 product and service categories. 2GIG, along with their parent company of Nortek, was recognized as an Honorable Mention in the Smart Home Solutions Category for the new 2GIG Edge Panel.

It's no surprise that the 2GIG Edge would be recognized for its smart home capabilities. The alarm panel and smart home controller is a force to be reckoned with in terms of automation. It includes a built-in Z-Wave Plus V2 Controller, which is also known as a Z-Wave 700-Series Controller. This represents the latest and greatest Z-Wave technology, as the 700-Series Z-Wave devices can go at least ten (10) years between battery changes, and they support signal hops of up to (200) feet each for extended wireless range.

That's not to mention that all Z-Wave 700-Series devices support the powerful S2 Security Protocol for greater wireless protection. 2GIG has even released a 700-Series Z-Wave Smart Thermostat, the 2GIG STZ-1, that pairs perfectly with the 2GIG Edge Alarm System. To learn more about 700-Series Z-Wave in general, please check out this blog we put out on the subject when the technology was still brand-new. The blog was written before we fully understood the protocol, but it should still do a pretty decent job of explaining it if you are totally unfamiliar with the subject.

As you may know by now, the 2GIG Edge also connects with the Alarm.com platform when the system is monitored. This platform makes it possible to control connected smart devices remotely from anywhere in the world. Any smart device paired with a monitored 2GIG Edge Security System will appear on the Alarm.com platform for remote access. You can then use the Alarm.com Mobile App on your phone to control the connected devices. You can also create powerful Alarm.com Smart Scenes and automations to have the connected devices respond automatically to predetermined system events and/or operate on a set schedule. This is great for saving money on energy bills, while also making your life much more convenient. Alarm.com even allows for geo-fencing through their Geo-Services technology so that smart devices activate once you are within a predetermined radius of your home.

Alarm Grid offers congratulations to 2GIG and Nortek for the continued success of the 2GIG Edge. This system is truly exceeding expectations, and it is one that we think can be a staple in the security and automation industry for many years to come. If you have any thoughts on the 2GIG Edge, please leave them in a comment down below. We would love to hear what you have to say. And remember to stay tuned to the Alarm Grid Blog for more news and updates coming soon!

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We want to inform 2GIG Edge users, especially those who may install their own system, to a special warning put out by 2GIG. The warning identifies a potential wiring mistake that could result in permanent damage to the 2GIG Edge Alarm Panel. The entire warning put out by 2GIG can be seen here.


The 2GIG Edge receives primary power from the 2GIG AC1 Plug-In Transformer. This transformer is rated at 14VDC, 1.7A. You must add your own alarm wire to complete the connection. Since DC power is being used, proper polarity must be observed, both at the transformer and at the panel. At the transformer, the red wire should connect to positive (+) terminal, and the black wire should connect to the negative (-) terminal.

Then, at the panel, the red wire for positive (+) power should connect to the DC IN+ terminal. The black wire for negative (-) power should connect to the DC IN- Terminal. Or alternatively, if you are using a Honeywell LT-Cable, then you can simply plug the barrel connector in the DC IN Barrel Port. Following this process correctly will help ensure that you do not accidentally damage your 2GIG Edge.

Where the concern arises is that there are actually two (2) sets of terminal blocks on the 2GIG Edge Panel for connecting wires. And unfortunately, 2GIG didn't exactly make it super clear as to which set of labels goes with which terminal block. The best way to figure it out is in the fact that one set of terminal blocks is shorter than the other terminal block set. The set for providing power is the smaller terminal block with six (6) terminals, not the larger terminal block set with eight (8) terminals. You can see this in the image above.

The DC IN+ and DC IN- Terminals, along with the DC IN Barrel Port, are identified as the Power In Terminals. Those are the ports you want to use when providing power, whether you are using traditional alarm wire and you use DC IN+ and DC IN- (making sure to observe polarity) or you have a Honeywell LT-Cable and simply plug into the DC IN Barrel Port. If you do use DC IN+ and DC IN-, then make absolutely sure you are connecting to the terminal block with only six (6) terminals.

The potential problem arises in the other, larger terminal block with eight (8) terminals. This is known as the DCOUT+ Terminal Bock. And to make matters confusing the top two (2) wire terminals on this set have names that may make you think they are used for providing primary power to the system. But in reality, connecting primary system power here could seriously damage the system. These two (2) misleading wire terminals are labeled GND and AUX+, but these are output terminals.

Simply put, you do NOT want to use these terminals for providing system power. Again, the easiest way to avoid doing this is to make sure you are using the smaller terminal block with only six (6) wire terminals, NOT the larger terminal block with eight (8) wire terminals. Of course, if you use a Honeywell LT-Cable and the panel's DC IN Barrel Port, then this isn't really a potential hazard. There is only one barrel port and no way to mix it up.

The lesson of the day here is to be very careful when you are connecting power wires to the 2GIG Edge. Use the DC IN+ and DC IN- Terminals on the smaller block with six (6) terminals. The red positive (+) wire should go to DC IN+, and the black negative (-) wire should go to DC IN-. Or use a Honeywell LT-Cable and the DC IN Barrel Port. Do NOT use the GND and AUX+ Terminals on the larger block with eight (8) terminals. Making that mistake could potentially damage your 2GIG Edge System. Always be safe and smart, and make the correct wiring connections!

If you have any thoughts on the 2GIG Edge, or if you have any personal experience in wiring the system for power, then please feel free to share what you would like in a comment down below. We would love to hear from you! And remember to stay tuned to the Alarm Grid Blog for more tips and security news coming soon.

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For anyone watching Samsung SmartThings it's impossible not to notice that the platform has experienced a substantial shift in identity. While the platform was once developed upon physical hardware, that is no longer the case, as SmartThings is now largely built around intangible software.

This change in focus can be seen in multiple facets of SmartThings. The legacy "Classic" SmartThings App has been left behind, and developers have instead put their resources into SmartThings Labs and the recently re-titled Matter initiative, which was previously known as Project CHIP. It's obvious that Samsung still sees value in the SmartThings platform, if only from a virtual aspect. This can be especially seen in Matter, as initial Matter-speaking devices are set to release later in 2021.

But while Samsung clearly has interest in the software side of SmartThings, the hardware side has been relatively quiet. The original 1st-gen SmartThings Hub stopped working nearly a year ago. Meanwhile, Samsung has been attempting to pass the hardware development side to others, as Aeotec has released the first third-party SmartThings Hub. Stock for SmartThings hardware is down, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to find basic equipment. What it all suggests is that Samsung wants its focus to be on their SmartThings ecosystem, not on the equipment itself.

To make this possible, Samsung is pushing the SmartThings platform to rely even more heavily on the wireless protocols that allow for connectivity and communication between the different equipment. These wireless protocols include WIFI, Z-Wave Plus, Zigbee, and even more obscure wireless networks like Thread, and their own pet-project, Matter. Simply put, Samsung wants to focus on building the smart wireless ecosystem making automations possible, and not necessarily on the sensors and smart hubs that users physically set up and hold in their hands. Apparently its in the intangible aspects of a smart home where Samsung feels they can bring the most value.

SmartThing users often say that the platform is one of the easiest and most proficient ways to design and maintain a smart home. It's obvious that Samsung still views SmartThings as a crucial component of their brand. However, while the SmartThings division was once largely an endeavor of tangible hardware, that appears to no longer be the case. The future of SmartThings as developed by first-party Samsung appears to be that of a virtual focus, in which software development reins supreme. Elsewhere, the actual legwork of building the physical hardware components can apparently be left to whomever will step up in their place.

What do you think about this change of focus for Samsung? Do you think this is a good move for the company to primarily focus on the intangible software components of SmartThings? Do you believe that other third-party companies can properly step-up and handle the hardware development and manufacturing steps of the process in their place? Also are you a fan of SmartThings in general, or do you prefer other smart home automation platforms? Let us know your thoughts in a comment down below. And stay tuned to the Alarm Grid Blog for more security and automation discussions coming soon!

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