An article in the Chicago Sun Times earlier this year highlighted an issue that should be of major importance to intrusion alarm system providers. Titled “Fired city worker accused of disabling alarm gets job back” details a situation involving the alleged theft of $21,800 worth of copper cable from a city of Chicago warehouse. According to the article, a city worker purportedly disarmed and reprogrammed the system’s primary and secondary phone numbers effectively disabling the alarm system in the storage building.

Without commenting on the reinstatement of the employee by the city of Chicago, there are some  points of interest for security dealers that are raised when considering the events of this incident. First, commercial properties (including municipal storage and schools) should have open/closing reporting enabled, so the central station would have been notified that the warehouse system had been disarmed.

It is also a lapse in judgement if the master code that is used to access the control panel’s programming is given to keyholders and other personnel who should not have access to the system’s programming screens.

As our systems become increasingly digital and networked, the use of strong passwords, regularly changing passwords, and the careful issuance of passwords that allow for remote arm/disarm and panel programming require critical planning by security integrators. Security companies should create comprehensive policies and rules to be applied for all systems that can be remotely controlled and/or programmed.

ADI offers a full roster of training opportunities throughout the year to share the latest installation tips and techniques which could safeguard against issues such as this. Click here to check out the upcoming training events taking place at your local ADI branch.