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Alarm Monitoring frequently asked questions for home and business in NY & NJ

What is a verification form?

A verification form is a 2-part document sent to you by the monitoring center to verify all the information we have on file in the monitoring software is accurate. It needs to be checked carefully, signed and returned to the monitoring center. If you have any corrections, need additional pass cards, or window/door stickers, please note these changes and needs directly on the verification form, sign it and return the top copy keeping the carbon for your records.

What is my Authorized Person number/word and why do I need it?

The authorized person number or word is an added level of security. It should be given out only to those authorized to make database changes and to put your account out of service at the monitoring center (for alarm testing or whenever you need the monitoring center not to respond to alarms). We will automatically issue an authorized person number when your account is entered in the monitoring center software; if you would prefer an Authorized Person Word this should be indicated on your signed verification form when you return it to us.

What does it mean to take my account Out of Service?

An “Out of Service” request to the monitoring center means that you are telling the monitoring center NOT to respond to any alarms from your location. You must provide your Authorized Person ID for Out of Service requests. For burglary systems a maximum out of service time of up to 72 hours can be granted over the phone. Any requests longer than that will need to be submitted in writing. For a Fire system a maximum out of service time of 8 hours can be granted with proper id. Longer out of service requests for a Fire system need to be submitted in writing. You should always notify your local fire department when a fire system will be out of service. Note: Taking your account Out of Service with the monitoring center does not mean the alarm will not sound, it only means the monitoring center will not respond to any signals transmitted during the Out of Service time.

Can I take only part of my system Out of Service?

Can I take only part of my system Out of Service?

Yes, an account can be placed Out of Service in total or you can specify exactly what zones or types of signals you want the monitoring center to disregard when you call in with your authorized person id.

Why did you dispatch the fire department before calling me?

If your account is Commercial, regulations require us to dispatch immediately on all commercial fire alarms; if the premise phone number has been provided to the monitoring center they will immediately call your premise after the fire department has been dispatched. If your account is Residential and you do not live in a city that requires immediate dispatch on fire alarms then an operator will place a call to your residence. If there is no answer, an answering machine, or the person answering has no password or id number the monitoring center will notify the fire department and then attempt to reach the people on your call list. If you live in one of the cities that require immediate dispatch on all fire alarms then the monitoring center will notify the fire department first and then immediately call your residence after dispatch.

What should I do if my alarm goes off?

The first thing to do is determine why your alarm has sounded. Is it your burglar alarm, fire alarm, or just a trouble signal? Once you know why your alarm has gone off, and what detector was tripped, then you can reset the alarm at your keypad by entering your code. If the monitoring center receives a Burglar alarm from your system we will call the premise number we have listed for you a few times to verify if there is a need to send the authorities; be sure to answer your phone when it rings. If there is no answer, continuous busy signals, an answering machine or the person answering the phone is unable to provide the correct password/Id and you do not have any ECV (enhanced call verification) numbers listed the monitoring center will dispatch the local authorities, and attempt to notify your call list. We will attempt to reach your call list up to 3 times within 1 hour before placing a follow up call the authorities. If you have ECV numbers listed they will be called after the premise number in an attempt to obtain an authorized password/id, if no one can be reached at the ECV numbers or the person answering the ECV number is unable to give id then dispatch and notification attempts will follow.

If you accidentally set off a burglar alarm, please do not call the monitoring center; give us a chance to call you for your id. Outgoing calls for alarms take precedence over incoming calls so you could be on hold while we dispatch due to busy signals at your premise if you immediately try to call us. If you have not heard from us after 2 or 3 minutes then by all means give us a call. The best number to reach the central station is 781-596-0000.

What is ECV (Enhanced Call Verification)?

Enhanced call verification ECV is a recognized “Ansi” Standard: CS-V-01-2004. Enhanced Verification is an attempt by the monitoring facility personnel to verify that no emergency appears to exist at the monitored premise by means of more thorough procedures, such as two (2) or more verification calls. The second call can be made to a cell phone or simply to the call list before calling the police department. The person answering at the ECV number must be able to give proper password/id in order to abort police dispatch.

Enhanced Call Verification is a false dispatch protocol that is gaining wide acceptance across the country. It represents the single most significant breakthrough in false dispatch prevention since the alarm industry first started sending the police. Enhanced call verification is recommended for burglar alarms only and should not be used for any fire alarm activations. If you would like to add ECV numbers to your account please indicate this on your signed verification form when you return it to us or send your request in writing. Signed, written requests can be faxed to 845-986-0343 or emailed This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

It is important for the monitoring center to know if I have call waiting/call answering?

Call waiting/call answering can interfere with the monitoring center attempts to verify the alarm. Your alarm signals are usually transmitted through your phone lines. If the alarm system has your phone line seized, you are unable to hear the beep telling you that you have a call coming in. Meanwhile the monitoring center hears only ringing with no answer, so we would assume no one is home. If you have call answering, the monitoring center will get your call-answering message on the first ring while the alarm system has the phone line tied up. This is why it is important for us to know if you have these services.

What happens if my phone lines are cut? Does the monitoring center still receive the alarms?

Your local alarm should still function. Some systems require phone lines for reporting purposes. Additional service can be added to you existing system to eliminate this problem such as optional radio or cellular systems for communication back up.

Who needs to have my password and why?

Any person who is authorized to be at your premise will need a password/pass code. This information will allow them to abort any alarms and ask questions. Note: a general password does not give a person authority to change your account information or place an account “Out of Service”. Only the Authorized Person password/id is able to change account information or place an account “Out of Service” at the monitoring center.

Why does my phone line go dead when my alarm goes off?

Why does my phone line go dead when my alarm goes off?

The alarm uses you phone line to send the monitoring center a signal. If you hang up and wait about 30 seconds the line should clear and your dial tone should return.

What should the people on my call list know?

Call list people should know how to contact the owner at all times and/or be able to act as a representative. They should know that the monitoring center calls them about alarms. They should always check with the police before they go to the premise on an alarm call; this will prevent them from walking into a potentially dangerous situation, and let the police department know who will be responding.

Can the monitoring center tell me when and who armed or disarmed my system?

If your system is programmed to send opening and closing signals then the monitoring center can give you this information over the phone if you call in with proper password/id. A hard copy of your Open / Close report is mailed out on the first of every month. If your system is not already programmed to send opening and closing signals and this is a feature you would like to add please contact your salesman to arrange this.

Why wasn't there a message left on my premise phone when the alarm went off?

The monitoring center will not leave a message on the premise phone when attempting to verify an alarm. If unable to verify the alarm and dispatch is made, the monitoring operators will leave messages on the call list numbers if an answering machine is reached


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S.E.M. Security Systems Inc
17 Wheeler Avenue
P.O. Box 454
Warwick, New York 10990
in New York
NY License #12000007458

in New Jersey

NJ License #34BF00015000



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Coverage Areas
Protecting Homes and Business in the New York and New Jersey area for over 30 years.

New York
NY License #12000007458
New Jersey
NJ License #34BF00015000

Bergen County, NJ Bergen County, NJ Passaic County, NJ
Rockland County, NY
Orange County, NY
Bogota, NJ
Carlstadt, NJ
Cliffside Park, NJ
Closter, NJ
East Rutherford,NJ
Elmwood Park,NJ
Englewood Cliffs,NJ
Fair Lawn,NJ
Fort Lee,NJ
Franklin Lakes,NJ
Glen Rock,NJ
Harrington Park,NJ
Hasbrouck Heights,NJ
Little Ferry,NJ
Midland Park,NJ
New Milford,NJ
North Arlington,NJ
Old Tappan,NJ
Palisades Park,NJ
Park Ridge,NJ
Ridgefield Park,NJ
River Edge,NJ
River Vale,NJ
Rochelle Park,NJ
Saddle Brook,NJ
Saddle River,NJ
South Hackensack,NJ
Upper Saddle River,NJ
Woodcliff Lake,NJ
Little Falls,NJ
North Haledon,NJ
Pompton Lakes,NJ
Prospect Park,NJ
West Milford,NJ
Woodland Park,NJ
Chestnut Ridge,NY
Grand View-on-Hudson,NY
New Hempstead,NY
South Nyack,NY
Stony Point,NY
Upper Nyack,NY
Wesley Hills,NY
West Haverstraw,NY

Blooming Grove,NY
Greenwood Lake,NY
Highland Falls,NY
Mount Hope,NY
New Windsor,NY
Port Jervis,NY
Tuxedo Park,NY


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