Inside Job: Exploiting Alarm Systems and the People Who Monitor Them
7:57PM Jul 29, 2020
alarm systems are a staple of businesses nationwide. When you walk into a building the door contact separates making the alarm panel chime. The motion detector sees you. But what about what you don't see the person in the central station getting a ping and looking at the signals, calling the owner, then the police
are next talk covers the basic types of alarms coming panels and contact station procedures, as well as how to exploit them and what you can do to help mitigate the exploits present
inside job exploding alarm systems and the people who monitor them. Please welcome. Nicholas hatch.
Hello. How's everyone doing tonight.
Um, so this talk is going to be covering alarm system basics, as well as how we can exploit the procedures of your central station. It's not going to be completely comprehensive every Central Station is different. However, this gives you a little bit of an upper hand when it comes to getting into a building, about you know has motion detectors, or window indoor contacts with plastic detectors and will also allow you to quickly go to a panel and disarm it or know enough about a panel to pretend you're a, a operator
and stop fooling the owners of the building.
Okay. We will, we will go now to your presentation.
Thanks for coming. This is inside job exploiting alarm systems and the people who monitor them. Now a bit about myself. My name is Nick, and I'm a student at Pensacola State College. I'm also the president of information security network. We are a 501 c three nonprofit dedicated to expanding security awareness along Florida's Gulf Coast. I've also spent five years as a central station operator. If you like to learn more about me, you can always send me further. But we have a lot to cover and not a lot of time to do so. Some disclaimers all opinions here are my own, and not of my employer or my nonprofit, and some of the things you see here are dangerous, not to yourself but to others and highly illegal. Please do not disrupt an emergency communications. Now on our agenda we have, what a central station is followed by Central Station procedures, and the types of alarm panels that you may commonly come across. Once you have learned about procedures and alarm panels and how a central station operator sounds and handles signals. We'll go into exploiting how they handle those signals, followed by how to fix these exploits. Now, central stations, what is the central station, well it's quite similar to a sock they handle trouble signals and alarms and we call the right people to handle it via the fire department or the police department on ambulance. They vary in size sometimes you'll have these large call centers like ADT of 50 to 100 people packed inside of a building or you'll have mom and pop shops that only have maybe 234 people inside of a building. The one constant is. They all have to have a minimum of two people inside of them pull you off your central stations are always going to be open 24 hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year. And also, if something happens to the central station. There's always a backup so it's always a central station monitoring your central station, and something happens to all the signals from that, from the primary Central Station, roll over to the second day and vice versa. The operators, on, on a central station shift normally operate between eight to 12, hours, and depending on the central station, its size service area. It could be constantly busy signal after signal, or mind numbingly slow and either one of those scenarios pose their own unique challenges. Either way, it results in mentally exhausted Central Station operators.
Now onto our procedures.
Now for the purpose of this talk, we're going to be focusing on commercial systems. And I'm not saying that things in this talk won't work for residential systems. In fact commercial systems are typically more strict. So the more likely to work on a residential system. However, it's outside of, it's outside of the scope of this talk. Now we're going to start off with a low priority signals. These are trouble signals, like a low battery all security systems have a backup battery inside the control box, as well as different Wireless Zones which have their own self contained batteries like your smoke detectors, or glass break detectors window contacts. Now, we also have a power for failures. These happen typically when the power goes out we'll get a notification that says hey AC and DC power has failed, the system's now running on battery power. And so we'll call the owner and let them know that hey you have a power failure. Do you want us to send a technician out there. Totally that's done at the beginning of the next day or at the next business day, loss of RF supervision, I mentioned earlier about Wireless Zones your motion detectors or glass break detectors window contacts. If these fail to communicate with a security system, we'll get a loss of RF supervision. This also includes if someone decides to try and jam that zone out like you see with simply safe. Door contacts you'll have someone walk in with a amateur radio press the button and the signals jammed out a loss of of supervision in that case. Now, a lot of us provision is different than signal jam despite how similar they sound, the RF signal jam deals with the wavelength backup. Now your wavelength backup is is a backup system designed for a failover if the phone lines fail to work. So if we get a phone line failure. We'll get that notification of hey the phone lines have failed, but then alarm goes off, and it just says audible burglary, that is your wavelength backup. And if the waving does it come in, then we'll get an RF signal jam, and this is typically caused by a ham operator who is across the street, who's accidentally operating on the same frequency as the wavelength backup. You know how radios work, they just kind of scream over each other. And whoever is screaming the loudest wins. And then finally we have a failed test security systems test. Once or twice every hour so depending on how they're set up. And if it misses its test window we'll get a notification that says that the system has failed to test with Central Station. And that testing knows how we know the system is operating and that it's alive. For burglar alarms you have a class pick detectors and these are typically little microphones that go right next to a window and they can tell if the class has been broken. You have motion detectors, which you typically see them along the corners of rooms are on top of a door. And if any motion happens inside of the room, be a person or a bug that's in front of the sensor, then it'll go off and we'll start calling the police. glass breaks and motion detectors, kind of a troubling combination to have if you're a central station operator, if you see both of them happening at the same time, you likely have an intruder and some central station operators will actually bypass the usual process of calling the primary number in the secondary number it just goes straight to dispatch door contacts now, all contacts and window contacts. It's the same device doors are a little bit special though because you have entry and exit doors. Now, what this means is that when you're going to open your voting for the day you can only go through one set of doors. And those are entry exit doors, if you go through another set of doors, the alarms going to sound instantly. Those entry exit doors have a delay between 30 seconds to a minute and that allows you to get to the security panel. You have a tamper switch and the tamper switch typically only deals with a control box, so that the control box is the brains of the security system. And if the systems, armed you go to open up that control box, it's going to sound and you're going to have the police call it on you
and panic alarms now panic alarms. If we get a panic alarm. We immediately call the police. And we don't call keyholders. The on the way there's nothing you can do about it. And you have two types of panic alarms you have your silent alarm and your audible alarm silent alarm doesn't sound audible does. Technically you can also include a divest code as a panic, however, that is typically we have you on the line, and someone has a gun to your head. You can give us that code and Wilson the police, or you can enter that code into the panel and Wilson the police for your fire zones, we have smoke detectors carbon monoxide detectors and heated temperature alarms. Now, the smoke detector we've all seen those go off. It's early in the morning, and you're getting out of the shower the steam sets off the smoke detector or you're cooking breakfast and the smoke sets off the smoke detector with fire alarms, we dispatch first. It's not like a residential we'll we'll call the premises First, we not only have to worry about lives but we also have to worry about merchandise and data being lost carbon monoxide detectors. Those are one of the most serious signals because you can't smell carbon monoxide can't taste cut monoxide. By the time you notice that covered monoxide is in the room, it's already too late. Your heat temperature alarms, we actually don't dispatch on those that is typically, he someone left a freezer door open, or your AC in your server room went out. And so now your service thermal throttling. So we tip. We typically treat those as a trouble signal. But the included here because if that temperature alarm goes off, you can lose thousands of dollars in merchandise. And then finally we have the keypad fire, the keypad fire is the equivalent of a panic alarm. So if you don't have a smoke detector, or a carbon monoxide detector in the room, and next thing you know a file on fire goes off in the room. You can run to the panel and hit that fire button on the keypad, and it will send the fire department your way. Now, these are some special signals that we'll get and we typically get them at the beginning of end of the day, so a failure to open. This is the building didn't open at the set time that it was meant to, so this means that if you're open for the day, didn't open up on time we call you. We call the manager and we get to snitch on them. Failure to close is the same principle, the voting is set to arm at a specific time of day, and if it doesn't, I'm at that time. Then we'll call the premises up, get the name and code of the person inside. And then we'll call the manager up and say that so and so is still inside though dealing with a customer and they're going to be an extra 30 minutes. This gives us a little bit of accountability in case that person also decides to just take the entire contents of the register with them and they leave your fourth sign is when someone alarms, all the zones, but one zone so you may have a problem zone like a door that won't stay shots, or you have a zone that's forcing you can on everything for that one zone and then leave. However, we're still going to call you, because it's a liability issue. We need to make sure that you know that you have a weak point in your security system. And then finally we have an invalid opening this is someone that's opening outside of normal hours. So if you have a business, and it's normal operating hours are eight, eight, and we get opening at 12am. That's going to be a little bit fishy so we're going to call up there get the code, and then let the manager know that this person is there after hours.
Door dual processing, you typically only see dual processing with wavelength systems, and that's because you have the wavelength that comes in first because it's going over the airwaves. And then the digital signal which is coming over the phone lines over the internet. And this allows us to process, double the speed that we normally would be able to, because now we have two signals. There is kind of a drawback with dual processing though and that is, if you have a small Central Station, and you're doing dual processing. That is one less operator that can handle a whole stack of alarms. Now onto alarm panels. Now this this alarm panels, isn't going to be extensive it's not going to be a list of every single alarm panel, you're going to come out into the field, but it's going to be some fairly common ones. Now, the alarm panels themselves. It's just how you interface the alarm system. Think of it as no more than a keyboard is your desktop computer where the alarm panel is communicating with a locked control box in the back. Now, the alarm system itself is going to be communicating over pots, most of the time, voice is becoming a little bit more common however a lot of security companies they try to point people away from voice, because it can be somewhat unreliable, you're starting to see wavelength backups and also cellular uplinks become more common in security systems as well and those have a nice advantage of being a failover, in case of a phone line or internet outage. All security systems, at least for commercial buildings have a battery backup in case of power failure and trying to open up that control box in the back, or in some cases even trying to tamper with the panel itself may trigger a tamper alarm, in which case, we'll have the police on you very quickly. Now, for first panel, we have the VISTA 20, and this is also known as the ademco 4140 Xm. Now, these are some commands that you can memorize, in case you want to impersonate a central station operator, or you have access to one of these panels and you want to just know off the top of your head, how to disarm it, and how to do some basic commands. And this case code and then one that will disarm the system. If you want to know some commands to avoid the one in combination, three and pound combination and start in pound combination are going to be panic alarms, so you might want to shy away from those if you don't want the police on your location. And if you want to earn the system and cover your tracks when you leave. If you're going to input your code, and then when you're earning keys, so your army keys in this case are going to be two three and four, two is your way key that's your normal arming it for the night. No one's in the building exterior and interior zones, to me, is going to be stay. That is, you have animal in the building with someone staying overnight. And that system perimeter zones and fours max. That is all the zones, and there's no delay. Now, I mentioned codes, the VISTA 20, you have three of them. You have a master code. And these can perform all the alarm functions and you only get one of them per system. You have your user code, and these can arm and disarm the system, however there's some limitations that can't add or delete users. They can't program scheduled events or view the event log. You can also have different functions for user codes so you can send them as arm or disarm only. You can set them as a device code, or you can set that set it up as a guest code, and the guest code can only disarm the system if it was used on the system. And then we have the installer code. Now, this is kind of unique to vista 20 in this talk because when we get to the radionics a Bosch panels later. You're not going to be getting access to the installer code and I'll cover that when we get there. But the installer code allows you to enter program mood. And it can't disarm the system, unless it was used to it. However, it can use all security functions, your default installer code. If you have access to a unarmed vista 20 is 4112.
And if you put 4112 into the panel, followed by 800, it puts you into program mode. Now the program mode is the alarm equivalent to sudo on the Linux desktop and provided that the security company was lazy during installation if it was self install. Then you won't have to do things like power down the system. And by power down I mean, in a cut power to the system. It also cut off the backup battery. And if you're really lucky, it might not be locked out completely. If it's not locked out, and you don't call the power down. Then you have access to things like disabling the RF jam notification, or disabling the wavelength backup entirely resetting the primary and secondary phone line numbers, or just completely factory resetting the system. Now, here we have the radionics 2112 and 2212. And there's some slight variations on the different panels, the old typically the same thing though. For these two panels. You just put your code in, and it will disarm the system. You have a little bit of leeway with the alarm sounding and putting your code in. So if you set the alarm off so you go to the wrong door. You have a few minutes, or not a few minutes but maybe like 10 seconds to 30 seconds to get to the panel and disarm it before, it's able to dial out to Central. Have your nine key that it's going to own all the zones, zero, it's going to army perimeter zones. And if you want to reset the system in case what system trouble. Three code, who is going to reset the system. On the 20 to 12 you'll have a, b and c keys. And one of these is going to be a panic alarm. And I can't tell you which buying it is because that's going to be programmed by the installer the security system so I wouldn't recommend going and playing with those three keys. And I mentioned earlier that on the radionics and Bosch panels, you're not really going to get, you're not really going to be able to get access to that installer mode. And the reason why is you have to flip a standby switch and the control box. And then once you do that, these panels are made to be programmed remotely, so we have remote access management, we call it managing the system. And it allows us to just remote into the panel and program it from Central. Now for the 4112 6112. It codes going to be code in a command 40 someone's going to reset the system, and your panic is going to be commanded nine. If you want to change the code, at least for the 6112. It's going to be command five your old code, enter, then new code, enter, and then new code Enter again
for your radionics emboss 4512 5512 8512 was disarm is going to be your code and Enter. And if you want to earn it up afterwards, you're going to do that same command. And these are the panels that normally are going to have that cellular backup and the wavelength. Now, this is also when radionics and Bosch kind of got together so you'll see these panels labeled as either radionics or most likely now Bosch. For the radionics 6412, also known as the Bosch d 6412, you have that C button. When you hold that that's going to be a panic alarm. If you want to reset the system it's going to be your command 47. If you want to disarm it, it's just the code, no command key needed, and change the master code its command 55 old code and the new code twice for your Sony 212 these also known as the Bosch, the 1255, your panic alarm is going to be commands, nine, the system resets command 47 disarm again is going to be your code and then the enter key. And then command, plus one, two, or three, will the system, and you'll see your arming keys up there. Also, all the zones instant is going to be all the zones and no delay, and your three is going to be. You're in the building. And if you're going to change the code, it's going to be command 55 old code, new code twice. Now that we've gotten through the panels, let's go through exploiting the operators. So there's a few ways to get information about a security system without actually entering the building, and those also a few ways of bypassing those alarms without doing the old checks like the compressed air in front of a motion detector, for example. This talk is going to focus on central stations that use life people for dispatch, though some central stations that will use a automated system that completely bypass the central station process and go straight to the police department, you're typically gonna see these with larger central stations and not your smaller locally owned ones. So the first thing I want to go over is alarm certificates. These are provided by your central station to your insurance company. And this allows you to get a little bit of a low rate on your insurance for the boating. These will also tell them say what type of panel you're using Do you have a wavelength backup. Do you have a smoke detector cover monoxide detector heat detector motion detectors windows, was the whole kit and caboodle, it won't tell them where they are. But it's nice to know that you have these things so you can plan accordingly later. And what makes this so awful, is that most of the time. You don't require a code to access it you can just say that you're the user or you're the insurance company, and best on behalf the user. And you'll likely get weather conditions. Now certain weather conditions can cause false alarms that you can take advantage of an engagement. For example, thunderstorms lightning and thunder. This combination, often will cause class breaks and motions to false. Remember earlier I said that if you have a classmate and emotion going off the same time, you may have someone skipping primary and secondary and going straight to dispatch. Thunderstorms is much less likely to happen and instead. We're going to call the owner and say hey there's a storm going on in the area, do you want to disregard the signals for the night, or the owner themselves will ask that. And so, what will happen is those two zones will go off constantly through the night, and you have an in. So you can go ahead and you can start breaking windows and crawling through them if need be.
Wind. So, if you live in a windy area. What's going to happen is the doors are going to battle windows may battle. And something may blow, open, and just that valving by itself may actually set the door contact off. So what may happen is a user may bypass it or a window, or if it's false and constantly. The person may be asked they want to disregard that signal for the night. And so if you're walking around the building and you notice a loose door. And it's just like rattling around, it may be bypassed if the wind is particularly high and it's constantly moving that might be a safe weight and I would keep in mind though that you still have to deal with interior zones. But if that door is moving it may also set off a motion detector. So, a little something to keep in mind if you want a way in to get to the panel window conditions. So FOSS FOSS forming on the outside of Windows. That sound very much sounds like class breaking and it will confuse glass break detectors. In addition to that you have condensation. So you'll typically see these on Windows. In the winner aware, the fossil form, and then it will thaw. And then the water will get in between the contacts, so you have a little bit of adhesive on the back of the contact will get there. And then it'll freeze again. And then thaw more water come in and freeze again and this happens a few times and it pops since off. So, what you can do is you can go up to the window, and you can try to open it. And if it's particularly freezing outside. It may be chalked up to just weather conditions. The cold has finally popped the sensor off the window. And you may be able to get inside that way. If someone conditions, humidity is here it's not one that you would want to count on because it shouldn't triggering a fire alarm. However, it's good to know in case you leave a door open, and that humidity may set off a smoke detector so you may get the wrong attention to your building. Now, the one you do want to pay attention to though is extreme heat so if you live in South Florida, or Arizona, or Texas or any place that the heat regularly gets up into the hundreds that extreme heat may cause the adhesive on those contacts to start to melt. And if they weaken to a certain point, they'll just fall off the door. This is a common enough problem even up here in North Florida, we normally do this three four times a year while the sensor just falls off because the heat bugs and rodents. Before I get too far into this. I highly advise that you do not really use live animals into a building. As hilarious as the thought is, you're putting those animals at risk. and you're also putting merchandise at risk. People potentially at risk just, it's in general it's a bad idea. However, if you know a place has a bug problem, like a warehouse they constantly have an exterminator over, you can use that as an end, because that's all set off motion detectors spiders and images crawling along a motion detector will set it off. It is also a easy scapegoat if you want to impersonate the alarm company. Hey, you can call them up before you go in and say hey, we've noticed that you your security system has been faltering lately. Do you want us to disregard the motion detector in the warehouse for the night. And that's a good excuse to have those motion detectors disarm so you only have to worry about your exterior zones. Pets now pets are more common than you might think that you typically see these in in small businesses and medium sized businesses maybe a employee is keeping a pet inside the warehouse for the night. But if you see an animal inside of the building that normally means that this, the interior zones are disarmed motion types are disabled or that they have just disarmed everything for that night.
Now different animals have different characteristics, dogs, for example, the booking will commonly set off glass break detectors. In addition, if they see any activity outside they'll go they'll put the paws up on the windows and it looks adorable. However, it will also set off the door contacts and class breaks the walking around will also set off motions so that's why the motion detectors are commonly disabled cats. They're just only setting off motion detectors they don't make a lot of noise. The only time they're going to set off a class break because if they actually make something because, you know, well, cats at 4am. Spring Forward now, I, the spring Ford is a nightmare for Central Station operators. The reason for this is some security systems and monitoring software that goes with them. It doesn't exactly take the time change count so what happens is I mentioned that field test earlier. Well, if you have your failed tests, you have your test at 2am. Right. And so the test. Once every hour. If it goes from 2am to 4am, the security system is going, Hey man, what the fuck happened. And it's going to start screaming. Not silence, but the operator. This is going to happen to every single alarm system that you monitor, which means that poor operator has a stack of 100 signals that they have to go through. They're going to make mistakes, they're going to miss that signal jam, they're going to miss that loss of supervision, the power failure. The low battery and light gives you some opportunity to do some setup without having the owner notified, because we're too busy trying to get through a stack of one to 300 signals to worry about that low battery impersonating Central. This is a fun one as not too terribly hard to do because every place that has a security system also has a sticker on the door that says hey we're monitored by the security company. Here's our phone number. So you take that phone number. And you spoof it and then you call the owner of the building up or the manager, and you say that there's a small trouble with a system, and I mean small trouble Don't go, claiming with those and alarm, because they may go oh there's nothing wrong here this is a crank call, or they may want you to send the police, which is much worse, because then your covers blown so sick the phone line blips and power failures that typically will get you the codes that you want. And speaking about codes, you typically have two types of codes that you're going to receive. If you get a numeric code that's likely going to be the panel code to some system. If you get a password that that's going to be more of an administrative code that you can use to call central up and impersonate that user, and then try to add a code into the account later, though that code change will likely take effect for next business day, but now you have a wait in. One thing you can do if you do get a password is you can say, huh. I'm not seeing that on your account. Do you have a four digit code. And that will sometimes also gets you had numeric code. However, I wouldn't count on it, and you're just as likely to just piss off your victim. As you are to get a numeric code wavelength jamming just straight up. Don't do this. Now, not only is it seriously illegal not just because you're violating the FCC rules, but also you're violating emergency communications, you're going away out of scope, because wavelength backups, also act as repeaters for other wavelength backups. So jamming one is going to take down an entire network of them. So you're gonna have a similar situation to a spring forward, where all these security systems that are connected to that one node are going to come in as RF signal jam.
Now, wireless sensor jamming we've seen this before with century safe and the door contacts getting jammed by a little ht ham radio. If you're going to do this, use as much power as you need because you don't want to take out all the zones at once you just want to take out. Only the ones you need. And you also don't want to affect the security system of the person next door. This is also a good reason to impersonate Central. So, what, what you're going to do is you're going to sit out in your car you're going to hit the back on your little ham radio system, and the owner is going to get a call from Central saying hey, we're noticing a loss of RF supervision. And it can we get your code. You're going to wait about five minutes and then call them as central and say hey we're noticing that loss of supervision. And the owner is going to go. Hey you guys called me five minutes ago. Oh yes, well, what's happening is we're training, a employee, and they accidentally called you by mistake. We still need your code though, and you'll get the code more than likely because they just want you off the line. Police disregard this is a risky one but it's a common one. So, what happens is the security system is forcing to the point that the police are just considering it a nuisance, and it's refusing to go, they are refusing to go to the premises. This is kind of a risky one because depending on your police department they may stake out the area. The owner of the business make it find this is most definitely not poke a pen test terms of engagement. And once you get in though once you execute this and the police stop coming. There's nothing central can really do about it. Yeah, they can call the cops for the logs however what's happening is the police attacking them. Yeah, Sergent said that we're not responding to alarms out there. And so now you're kind of free to to swab the place blind as if the system was disarmed, so long as you have sufficient earplugs to know that about the Simon destructive entry. Well, okay, so this is the fun one for everyone here. Not all offices have a full suite of senses, and if you did your recon say cold info along certificate or you physically case a joint, you can determine what senses. The building has or does not have. So say you got your alarms if you got your alarm certificate, and it does not say glass pick detectors, or motion detectors on it, which again is more common than you might think. Despite most buildings, having those. You can go up to the window now knowing that there's no class break and no motion detectors, and you know Chuck a brick through it. This is a little bit risky though because not only is it dangerous because of broken glass. And not only is it loud because the sound of broken glass being extremely suspicious. But you also have door contact or not door but window contacts on the window. So if you jostle that window frame a little bit. It may set the alarm off. Something to keep in mind if you decide to go breaking windows disconnecting the phone lines. If you're going to do this, you might want to make sure that's even worth the time by determining if there is a cellular uplink or wavelink backup. If one of those is in use, you'll probably want to jam it or just think of another way to prevent some most from gaining essential. Oh, now the last Some may be using voice, instead of pots. Now this isn't too big of an issue because a lot of places just swap mode of wipe in general. Well if you do a little bit of network with constants, you may be able to just kick the security system off the network. Now if you disconnect the phone lines. What's going to happen is we'll receive a communications failure, we'll call the business owner, and that'll be that no police will come, nothing like that. We just needed to notify someone that we can't receive signals from the place. And that leaves you kind of free to the swap the place. Now, one thing I should note though is just because the phone lines have disconnected doesn't mean that the assignments still aren't going to go off. So once again, drink some earplugs we're going to do this,
cutting yourself a new door. So, this is something that it sounds silly. This has happened. Someone did the V con, they noticed that this warehouse didn't have motion detectors on the inside. And so they bought the van up with a soco saw, and they cut themselves a hole into the wall of the building. And just robbed them of everything that was inside that warehouse. You're not likely going to get approval for this new pen test, but it's a fun thing to think about. And if again you're so inclined, and you think you can get away with it. Well, the warehouses, your oyster now. Now we mediation, how are we going to fix all these flaws and the central station monitoring process. Well, it starts with the users first. See, we need to educate our users on security principles, before they get the alarm systems. They need to understand access control cuz it's primarily what security system so it's access control. Each user needs to have the own code and we need to know who that code is assigned to, so it shouldn't be manager, open a code I should have a actual name to associate with that code, and only the owner of the security system should be able to change codes and addition to that only certain people should be able to open after hours. So I mentioned this with the invalid opening. If a certain people, or if some people, open up after hours will call the manager. That's not universally the case. Some businesses will just allow any person to open up after hours, because they trust their employees a little too much and we've seen it all too often, that the registers for our blind, or the missing merchandise, because they trusted the employees too much. If you get a random call from your central station. And you're not 100% shirts them. Just hang up. don't give them code, don't entertain them. Just hang up and call a known good number for your central station, we're not going to laugh at you explain the situation. And I won't have 100% promise that we will be appreciative. Because we don't want to see you get robbed. We don't want to see data stolen and destroyed, we want to make sure that you're safe. If you're going to require a alarm certificate, before you ask for a lot for a alarm certificate, you need to tell your central station that only I should be able to get along certificates, not the insurance company, and I need to request code before I do so because you don't want that free information out for any person to come in and get just by impersonating you or your insurance company. And finally, be kind to your operators. If you're known to abuse them what's going to happen is they're going to be afraid to call you for low battery's power failures, or even alarms. And that gives the use of some added precious seconds and I do mean precious every second counts to get away from the building, before we call police.
Thank you. And now on to the q&a
alarm systems and the people who monitor them with Nikolas cook Nicholas thank you very much for being here with us today.
Thank you for having me.
We've got a little bit of time for maybe a couple of questions. There's some good ones coming in, a member of the audience asks, Are there any good books websites that are about these things that you could recommend.
So the best thing, the best things I could advise you to read up on the installation manuals, or the alarm panels I mentioned in the talk, as well as looking through the new oil regulations or Central Station operators.
Another question from the audience. Concerning wavelink, what sort of regional setup is typically used is it just a single tower or repeaters, are they hosted as part of another service.
So, where wavelink. Each wavelength system is also a repeater. So, you have your central station wavelength receiver. And then each system that has a wavelength backup will check in with that receiver and they check in with each other. They're all repeaters to each other. That's why when one goes down we're in such a scramble to get it back up and broadcasting, because we all rely on those repeater networks, if one goes down, then, and it may affect multiple systems and that may cascade. We actually had one issue where one got hit by lightning and we spent six hours trying to find the one that got hit, because everything was coming in. It was a nightmare.
Imagine a very good question here, to what extent do police understand these things about alarm systems. In other words, are they generally naive enough to fall for simple tricks like triggering multiple alarms to fatigue them from responding.
It depends on your police department. So, some are. And in fact here in Pensacola will often get, like, two, maybe three maximum calls to a single area before the surgeon just refuses to go out there anymore, because a lot of police departments and sheriff's departments they treat alarm systems as low priority signals, compared to everything else. So if they think that's something that's just forcing, they'll just refuse to go out there because they don't want to deal with them they have better things to do.
And we'll have to leave it about there but really quick, where can people go to get more info on on the work you've done here and get in touch with you if they wish.
So if you want to get in touch with me. I am on twitter at song lazy. And I'll be in the livestream chat for a few more minutes, I'll also be on video Statler tomorrow at noon.
I'm Nicolas cook thank you very much for joining us today.
Thank you for having me.