Alarm codes aren’t for sharing

It is very important that every person who uses your alarm be assigned their own alarm code. Too often, a single code is used by the kids, nanny, handyman, dogwalker, friends and pretty much anyone else with a key. This significantly defeats the security value that your alarm is capable of offering.

The vast majority of Provident alarms (and certainly 100% of the systems that we have installed over the past five years) are capable of having more user codes than most home owners would ever need. For example, the most basic alarm control panel that we currently install is capable of being programmed with 48 unique user codes.

We strongly recommend that the only people who should share a code are the adult partners in a household. Every other user, including kids, should be assigned their own user codes. There is no cost associated with having multiple user codes.

There are three main reasons for this: (and a fourth bonus reason for your business)

  1. You can easily remove one code without having change everyone’s;
  2. Individual user codes allow you to track who has come and gone, and when;
  3. You can restrict the authorization level of each user.

You can easily remove one code without having to change everyone’s

In the event that one of your kids let someone else know their code, or you have let your nanny go, you simply need to let us know and we can remove just that code… causing no inconvenience to the rest of
the users of your system.

Individual user codes allow you to track who has come and gone, and when

By assigning individual codes, we are able to produce reports for you that will show exactly who armed or disarmed, and at what time. In retail and commercial settings, this feature is used to reconcile payroll records and time-sheets for employees who are required to open up alone.

Residentially, clients on several occasions have asked us to produce reports for them that show at what time the dogwalker disarmed and armed. On more than a few occasions, these reports have shown that the dogwalker, who was supposed to be taking the dog(s) out for several hours, was in fact only taking them out for several minutes.

If everyone in your house uses the same code, there is no way to distinguish who is who each time the system is used.

Incidentally, every keyfob is tracked as an individual user…. allowing us the same ability to see who used the system, and at what time, whether they used a four digit code or a keyfob.

You can restrict the authorization level of each user

Although most user codes are set-up for 24/7 access in clients homes, it is possible to restrict the authorization level of any individual user. For example, if you have a dogwalker who only comes on Wednesday afternoons, we can program (on most systems) a unique user code that will only work on Wednesdays between noon and 6:00pm.

Another option is to assign a particular user code as a ‘Guest’ code. This feature will only allow the user to dis-arm the alarm if it was their code that armed the system. This is a great feature for babysitters or others who might have need to arm or disarm your system in your absence for short periods of time. It allows you to give out a unique code without having to worry about handing over 24/7 access to your alarm.

In a business, many users are assigned ‘Arm-Only’ codes which will, as the name suggests, only allow them to arm the system, but never to dis-arm it.

The 4th bonus reason for businesses…

In commercial applications, a fourth feature is the ability to ‘flag’ a particular user. For example, a couple of months ago a client called us to say that he was concerned that an employee of his was stealing from the business and coming in after-hours to do so. After discussing various options for handling the matter, the client decided that he wanted that particular user to be flagged so that should they use their code to disarm the system at a suspicious time, the system would operate as normal from the user’s perspective, but we would send an automated email directly to the owner’s blackberry to indicate that the code had been used so that he could make a timely visit to their office. Within two days, the employee was terminated for cause… and charged criminally.

Another type of code is a duress code which allows you to disarm your alarm while sending a silent signal to us to advise us that you have turned off the system under duress and need immediate assistance.

For the vast majority of Provident alarms, remote code changing is included in your monthly fees… therefore, all you need to do is advise us of what codes you need to add, delete or modify and we will remotely dial into your system and make the changes for you… without any additional cost.

If you think that it is possible that some of your codes have been shared… or you still have everyone using one code… give us a call to help you re-program your system with all new codes today.

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