Frequently Asked Questions

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Central Station
Data Entry
Accounting
Sales

Central Station

What better place to start than in the core of Central Station


What is an Alarm Cancellation Code?

An Alarm Cancellation Code, also known as a passcode, is a word or series of numbers up to 25 characters in length that a subscriber uses to cancel alarms and obtain information on an account. Everyone who uses the alarm systems should have a valid alarm cancellation code. This could be your account number of a passcode you have chosen.

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What is a Tech ID?

A Tech ID is a word or a series of numbers that a tech uses to obtain only their customers information. A Tech ID will allow them to check activity, put accounts on test, add temporary comments, but will not allow the technician to change any permanent information on the account. Technicians should never be given your dealer I.D.

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What is an Account Number?

An account number is used to obtain any information on an account. This is given to the subscriber from the alarm dealer when the account is put online. Not all alarm dealers give the customers the account numbers. Some dealers prefer to have the alarm user choose an alarm cancellation code.

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What is a Low Battery Signal?

Operators are generally not allowed to give definitions on signals. When an operator is asked what a low battery signal is, they refer the customer to the alarm dealer. (A low battery signal can mean that the main battery on the panel may be low, a wireless sensor battery may be low, or other supervised battery dependent devices using a battery as backup may be low. Since the specific meaning can vary, operators will not define the signal further than the information provided by the dealer.)

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What is an AC Loss?

An AC Loss typically is received when utility power is no longer supplying power to the panel. Some panels can monitor circuits other than the one supplying it's power and report the loss of power for those circuits. Since the specific meaning can vary, operators will not define the signal further than the information provided by the dealer.

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What is a Cancel Code?

A cancel code holds actually two meanings. From the dealers point of view, a cancel code means, "the code that is entered into alarm the panel to turn the system on/off or to silence the alarm panel after an activation. From the Central Stations point of view a cancel code can mean the same as a Valid ID, Password or Passcode. When calling back to the premises after an alarm activation, the operator will ask the subscriber for an "Alarm Cancellation Code."

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What happens if I don’t put an account on test when I am working on the system?

If an account is not placed on test. The central station will handle all incoming alarms from that account normally.

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What is a Runaway System?

A runway is when an alarm system transmits twenty or more signals from the same zone within one hour time period.

A system in a runaway has the potential of tying up the receiver lines, operators and delaying or blocking a subscriber's signal that is having a real emergency from coming into the central station. It is extremely important when the central station notifies your office of a runaway system, that your office will make every effort to shut the system down.

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When notifying the call lists, do operators stop when they have reached an answering machine?

If an operator reaches an answering machine, they will leave a message. Once a message is left, they will continue down the call list trying to make contact. If no other contact can be made and a message has been left, the signal will be logged.

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Data Entry

 

What are default templates?

Defaults are extremely beneficial when an alarm dealer installs a panel using a non-intelligent format such as 4x2, 4x1, 3x2 and 3x1. Non-intelligent formats are used by alarm dealers because they are more customizable than intelligent formats. When an alarm dealer uses a non-intelligent format, they must provide our data entry department with the event type (burglary, fire) and event description (front door, pull station) for every zone. Defaults are created by the data entry department to allow a dealer to set up a custom template that contains all the codes and zones for a particular panel. When a new account is sent over to us, the dealer can specify a certain template to be put in the account; this eliminates having to list out every code and zone for that account. This is a great time-saving tool for the dealer and helps insure consistency with your account base.

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Why does Data Entry call the alarm dealer about recently sent faxes?

Data Entry will call an alarm dealer about a fax if there is missing information, illegible writing or the alarm instructions are not clear. We cannot afford to guess at vital customer information.

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Why do I have to send over code and zone information when the alarm panel is installed?

Without code and zone information a Not On File (NOF) signal will be generated when an alarm panel transmits an activation. NOF’s are a lower priority alarm than all other defined signals received by the central station and would be handled after all defined alarms. When a NOF is received the central station will call the alarm dealer to report the alarm activation and ask what action to take, therefore, delaying the  appropriate action for the alarm activation. In order for us to care for your customers in an efficient and correct manner, please include ALL pertinent information when setting up a new account or updating an existing account.

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Accounting

 

What is a pro rated charge?

A pro rated charge or credit on your invoice is for a subscriber that was either put online or deleted in the middle of a billing period. AlarmWATCH processes and mails invoices for monthly services in advance, meaning you are invoiced for all subscribers online at the beginning of every month. If you add a subscriber in the middle of a month AlarmWATCH will charge you for the number of days that subscriber was in service and you will be invoiced for that period in arrears, hence a pro-rate charge. The same is true for deleted subscribers. When a subscriber is deleted in the middle of a billing period a credit is issued for the number of days of the month the subscriber did not use the service.

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Why do invoices not reflect my balance?

AlarmWATCH invoices reflect all subscriber charges for a specific period of time. Invoices are processed at the beginning of every month for all subscribers online as of that day, and do not reflect other charges or payments on your account. Statements are sent monthly reflecting any activity on your account, including payments, credits, or other invoiced services.

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Can I choose the frequency of my bill?

Yes, you may choose the frequency of your bill. Invoices can be sent out monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually. Your billing can also be set up to coincide with your own billing of your customers. All AlarmWATCH services are invoiced in advance.

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How do certificates work?

Certificates must be mailed to the Accounting Department so that proper credit can be issued. Any 6 month certificate is credited at the time it is received. The 12 month certificates are credited at 50% of base rate for 24 months.

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Why was my check applied in that manner?

Any check received by the Accounting Department will be applied to the oldest open invoice unless specifically designated to a certain invoice.

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Sales

 

Are we UL-certified?

Yes we are! AlarmWATCH features fully redundant equipment in our central monitoring station so there is no down time. Our facility is fully secured with back up power and protected phone lines. AlarmWATCH’s central station meets or exceeds UL certification standards for the classification of “protective signaling”, a copy of our UL certificate is available online, click AlarmWATCH UL Certificate.

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Can we monitor in your state?

AlarmWATCH has a compliance agent on staff to handle all aspects of making sure we are doing business in your state to the letter of the law.

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How do we call back?

It’s important for a central station representing YOUR company to call YOUR subscribers using YOUR company name. That's exactly what we do! When AlarmWATCH operators call one of your subscribers, the operators will identify themselves by using your company name. This will add depth and credibility to your company image.

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Can I sign up on line?

You can submit a faxed AlarmWATCH Dealer Agreement and activate an account very quickly. AlarmWATCH must receive the actual original Agreement within 72 hours of submitting the faxed Agreement. All submitted Dealer Agreements must be approved in advance by an officer of AlarmWATCH.

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How do I send subscriber info?

We can use your form as long as the AlarmWATCH Data Entry department approves it. Our Data Entry forms may be found on our website for your office use. Subscriber information can be submitted via online, email, fax, and mail, it’s your choice!

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Do we supply you with subscriber monitoring agreements?

AlarmWATCH will provide subscriber monitoring agreements for your use. There is a charge for each monitoring ageement requested. However, it is strongly recommended that any agreement you choose to use be reviewed by an attorney to ensure compliance of the form within the state(s) you do business.

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Do we offer two-way voice services?

Yes we do. We receive the alarm signal, then immediately connect with the premises to verify the emergency with two-way communications.

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How are we priced?

AlarmWATCH services are competitively priced. We offer quality services, quick response to your subscribers' needs, the most advanced technology, extensive training, industry experience, and insured personnel to service both the needs of your customers and your staff.  At AlarmWATCH you will get the best service for the value. MAKE US PROVE IT, TRY US FOR FREE. WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO LOSE?

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Do we charge for changing information or a one time set-up fee for data entry?

No, we don't! Complete data entry services are part of the monthly fee you pay for each subscriber.

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 Dealers Talk 

 

“We maintained a monitoring station in-house for years, but after the attack on the U.S. on September 11th (911) we wanted to offer our customers maximum security protections. The security monitoring service had to be UL certified with plenty of technology enhancements and back up systems. That’s why we use AlarmWATCH."

--  Lou Gibbs, 
National Security
COPS Monitoring