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Arkansas Security
Alarm Association

 

A Note about POTS Sunset

The Federal Communication Commission is considering a request to end mandatory maintenance of plain old telephone service (POTS) by 2014.  What does this mean?

Many alarm systems communicate over customer's existing telephone service.  Digital communicators were engineered in the 1960s, when 1200-2400 baud communications were standard.  As many phone companies have updated their lines and switches, these communicators have had an increasingly difficult time communicating from the customer to the central station.  Eliminating POTS altogether will necessitate a new form of communication for all of these legacy systems.

Many end users have already dumped their POTS lines in lieu of a voice over internet protocol (VoIP) system, such as Vonage.  Some legacy alarm systems can communicate over some VoIP systems, some may not.  None of these legacy systems were engineered to communicate over a VoIP connection.

Before switching to a VoIP phone line, including those offered by local cable companies, the ASAA recommends that you contact your alarm company and see how this change may affect your current alarm system.  There is a possibility that you will need additional equipment for your alarm system to be able to communicate reliably.  Options include using a system that is designed to communicate over the internet.  You may also want to consider using a cellular communicator, sometimes called a GSM or GPRS system.

Link to trade publication for more information:  http://www.securitysystemsnews.com/article/pots-sunset-horizon

 

Consumer Information


Why You Should Use a ASAA Member

ASAA members make the best business partners. ASAA membership is voluntary, no company is required to join our association. The most reputable companies in the industry belong to ASAA.

We believe that the willingness of our members to seek out educational opportunities in order to better train their employees, submission to our Code of Ethics, and their commitment to cooperate with the association in resolving questions or complaints from consumers, demonstrates their desire to do business professionally and ethically.

We also believe strongly in reducing false alarms.  NESA has created a video to help consumers understand the importance of reducing false alarms and what you can do to help.  Please take seven minutes to view the video by clicking here.

We strongly suggest that all Arkansas consumers include ASAA members in their comparative shopping. We believe this will lead consumers to the right system at a fair price, combined with the best possible service.

We sincerely believe that you will receive a better mix of price and quality by doing business with a ASAA member company. If not, we are here to help resolve any issue that might occur when doing business with a member.

Members include (links are provided):  

Click here to search for members.

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Types of Systems

The Electronic Systems Industry includes businesses that sell, install, maintain, service and monitor various types of electronic systems in homes, businesses and  government installations including:

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Be an Educated Consumerj0296889

In order to be an informed consumer you need to understand the different components of a system. The best systems professional will help you determine what components you need to serve your home or business.

Your systems professional should discuss what options fit your home and/or business and lifestyle, for instance, do you have small children, pets, are you away from your home for long periods of time, do you have expensive items such as jewelry you want to protect. All of these things may factor in to determine which system is best for you.

You may decide to install a system for a specific purpose but keep in mind in you can link other devices into your system such as security, fire, entertainment, controlled heating and lighting, and carbon monoxide detection. There can also be cost savings to combine these features versus installing them at a later date. It all depends on what you want and what suits you best.

The best systems professional will customize your system for your needs!

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Selecting a Contractorj0296880

The Arkansas Security Alarm Association (ASAA) recommends that consumers take the following steps BEFORE selecting a systems contractor:

  • Check to see if the contractor is a member of ASAA. Associations members agree to maintain a high level of conduct under a Code of Ethics and render services at the highest level of quality.
  • Call several companies. Ask them if their employees are trained and/or certified by the ASAA.
  • Ask the companies if they have appropriate state and/or local licenses, if required.  Some sort of license will be required for any company that provides these services in Arkansas (see use licensed contractors section below for more information)
  • Ask the companies if they conduct any pre-employment screening.
  • Contact your local police department's Crime Prevention Department, state licensing agencies,  Consumer Protection Agencies, and the Better Business Bureau.
  • Ask your insurance agent, friends, family or neighbors for referrals.
  • After you've narrowed the field to three or four alarm companies, ask for the name of the  person who will call on you. It is best to plan the appointment time when all  those involved in the decision are present.
  • When he/she visits, ask to see some company identification.
  • Ask each alarm company representative for an inspection, recommendation and a quote in writing. Use a checklist to compare different packages and price quotes.

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Only Use Licensed Contractors

Electronic security companies, including burglar and fire alarm companies as well as those that install closed circuit television cameras, are regulated by the Arkansas State Police and the Arkansas Board of Private Investigators and Private Security Agencies.

You may call:  (501) 618-8600 to verify licensing of any alarm company.  

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Professional Installation Vs. Do It Yourself

Before you decide to install an electronic system yourself considInstallerer these factors:

  • Are you aware of all the codes and standards that govern how your system is installed and operated?
  • Are you aware of all of the options and features of the equipment you plan to install?
  • Have you considered the value of your time to learn about and install the system in calculating the cost of your do it yourself installation?
  • Is the equipment you have access to at retail outlets of equal quality to the professional grade equipment?
  • Do you own all the tools you will need to install, test and calibrate the equipment you plan to use?
  • Will your insurance policies cover you if you are injured or do damage to your property during the installation?
  • Does the company you bought the equipment from provide sufficient help in the event something goes wrong during the installation?

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Are Burglar Bars Safe?

Take care when you install burglar bars to keep intruders out you may end up trapping yourself in if there is a fire. Click here to download the US Fire Administration fact sheet of Burglar Bars.

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Arkansas Security Alarm  Association
P.O. Box 773
Fort Smith, AR 72902