Burglar cut phoneline, but security system had cellular backup!

Recently, our central station received an alert that an alarm had been tripped.  They followed their standard protocol of dispatching the police and contacting the business owners.  Now security system alarms and subsequent police dispatches are fairly common, but what makes this story different is that this client was broken into one month earlier and took then extra precaution of adding a cellular back-up communicator, in case the phone lines were cut again. In fact, we went one step further, we put an additional battery in the communicator so that even if the security panel was destroyed, the radio could send an alarm signal by itself.

Home owners that are concerned about their security can learn from this as well.  While traditional phone lines do a good job of economically sending us signals, they do have one vulnerability.  They are usually unprotected and can be cut.

Today, the majority of our clients no longer have a traditional phone line any more, and we receive calls every week from clients that want to get rid of their land-line service.  Those getting rid of land-line all together will need to opt for either internet or cellular monitoring.  Others who convert to a bundled voice over IP (VoIP) service do have a choice.

VoIP from major providers in the Kansas City area, such as AT&T, TWC, Comcast, SureWest and others can often transmit the alarm signals fairly reliably, but most security system manufacturers don’t guarantee compatibility.  The next issue is that of VoIP service in the event of a power loss.  You will want to know how long the phones will continue to work without any power, if at all. Finally, these VoIP services are still vulnerable to wire cuts, as were the traditional phone lines.

We recommend, multiple communication paths to help mitigate the risk of intentional or natural loss of communication.  Almost every security system manufactured in the last 15 years can be converted to cellular communication.


Tony Thurman

SHIELD Security Systems | 7111 W. 151st Street, Suite 30 | Overland Park, KS 66223 | (913) 667-7500