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For Whom the Bell Tolls

NCJ Number
Security Management Volume: 41 Issue: 11 Dated: November 1997 Pages: 60-63
J D Zwirn
Date Published
4 pages
This article reviews factors to be considered before deciding how to operate and monitor company alarm systems.
Companies must consider many factors in addition to cost when deciding whether to monitor alarms from an in-house or third-party monitoring station. Considerations might include the level of sophistication of a vendor's monitoring and surveillance equipment and whether or not the monitoring station has been listed by Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. The company's security manager should conduct a due diligence investigation of a vendor and its officers to determine the vendor's financial condition and whether it has had any legal or insurance claims filed against it over the past 5 years. The security manager should ask for an escape clause that will allow his company to withdraw from the agreement if the monitoring service is sold to another business. The security manager should also determine what type of training operators receive, and should test monitoring equipment. The primary advantage of an in-house station is that the company has complete control over all phases of the operation and the facility.