March 17, 2011
Home Security System Fails - ADT Security Does Not Receive Burglar Alarm Signal
I’ve posted before that no alarm system – or alarm company, for that matter – is perfect. People make mistakes and devices malfunction, but it’s obviously better if the situation is found and fixed before it really matters. Unfortunately, when it comes to home security, you often don’t even know there’s a problem until it’s too late. ADT Security recently had another miss, this time at a San Antonio home where the alarm system appeared to be working just fine.
Most people put home security systems in their home for their peace of mind. But after a local man’s home was broken into, he says the thieves took more than his stuff and the security company was not giving him any support. So, he called Barry Davis and Eyewitness Wants to Know.
Charles Fialkowski says he was at the store when he got a call from ADT Security saying his alarm siren was malfunctioning. When he got home he found it wasn’t just the alarm that was not working right. "They kicked the door, ripped the frame to pieces. You know, ripped the screws out," says Fialkowaki.
Breaking a door is not unusual in today’s burglaries – in fact, intruders target the front door just about one third of the time. What is unusual is that the ADT monitoring center did receive a signal – but it was the wrong message. A siren malfunction is extremely rare, but even so, this story shows just how vulnerable any alarm system can be without Crash and Smash protection. In the case of ADT, that unfortunately means 100% of their systems are vulnerable, since ADT does not offer Crash and Smash.
What the Thieves Stole
Thieves broke in and stole more than $8,600 worth of electronics and other stuff. The irritating thing for Fialkowski is that ADT never called the police. He had to! "When they called me, if they had called 911 instead, they would have probably caught the individuals that stole my items," says Fialkowski. ADT sent a technician to look into the problem. They confirmed the system was on at the time of the burglary.
The system was on and armed, but no alarm signal was received. That’s why more and more alarm users are looking for a system that’s virtually impossible to defeat – starting with wireless cellular monitoring, and including the Crash and Smash feature.
Now it Gets Complicated
His insurance covered the loss, minus his $250 deductible. ADT advertises they will cover your deductible for any loss during a burglary at your covered home, but from here it gets sticky. Fialkowski originally signed with Brink’s Home Security that became Broadview, which was ultimately bought by ADT. But when he called, Fialkowski says he was told since he was originally a Broadview customer he does not qualify for the deductible reimbursement.
Since this consumer got a local news channel involved, chances are he will get a fair resolution. There was considerable speculation across the alarm industry when ADT absorbed Brink’s/Broadview last year – Brink’s/Broadview was famous for good service, and those of us in the know suspected that many folks would not be happy with the change. I am reminded of a prior post that featured this quote by ADT.
"We recommend that anyone with an electronic security system test their system periodically to ensure it is communicating properly with the customer monitoring center. If a customer has a question regarding their system, including instructions on how to properly test it, we encourage them to call 1-(800) ADT-ASAP.
While monthly testing is standard alarm industry advice, and is even written into most monitoring agreements, few homeowners test their system in such a disciplined manner. The best advanced systems that rely on GSM cellular monitoring are auto-tested every day, and will report any communication failure immediately. We know, because that is the way Alarm.com technology works – and Alarm.com is the cellular foundation of every FrontPoint alarm system.
FrontPoint remains committed to providing systems that are safer, smarter, simpler, more affordable – and virtually impossible to defeat. That’s why we’re the #1 ranked home alarm company in the US, and we continue to offer greater peace of mind by providing improved wireless functionality as the technology evolves. Intrusion, fire, video, and home automation (control your lights, locks, thermostats) – FrontPoint has it all. And when your FrontPoint system detects a burglar – we will call the police.