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Decreased Signal Coverage Threatens Burglar Alarm Systems

Apr 29, 2010 4:05 PM   By Jeff Miller
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RAPAPORT... Jewelers Mutual Insurance warned that the burglar alarm systems used by jewelry businesses across the U.S. may be affected by a recently announced decrease in Honeywell’s AlarmNet-M radio network. The organization learned that Velocita Wireless, which provides the wireless backbone of Honeywell’s AlarmNet-M network, is decommissioning a portion of the network that transmits one-way and two-way burglar alarm signals.

For its part, Velocita cautioned that this immediate and significant decrease in network coverage will affect about one-quarter of its service area. Most alarm service providers use this network, even though it is not always listed on alarm service contract agreements. 

“Many jewelry businesses, especially those with higher inventory values, use Honeywell’s AlarmNet-M, two-way radio communication to achieve line security for their alarm systems,” explained David Sexton, the vice president of loss prevention for Jewelers Mutual. “We understand that at least 25 percent of these businesses have lost line security.” 

Line security assures that the communication channel used to transmit alarm signals from the protected premises to the alarm-monitoring facility is functioning properly and properly detects attempts to interfere with the alarm signal's transmission.

Jewelers Mutual is working with Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (ULI) and alarm industry resources to obtain more information and identify viable alternative options. 

“All jewelry businesses should contact their alarm service company as soon as possible to learn if their individual burglar alarm system is impacted and how their alarm service company plans to address this situation,” Sexton advised. “Currently, the only line security alternative accepted by ULI is an Internet-based solution.”

Jewelers Mutual will mail its policyholders a notice and instructions regarding this issue within the next week. The company encourages jewelry businesses to contact their insurance agents or carriers before making any changes to their alarm systems, as not all of the solutions offered by alarm companies will provide the necessary level of security.

Tags: Jeff Miller, Jewelers Mutual, Jewelry, Laboratories
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