Why Did the Police Just Arrive at my House? What is a Crash and Smash?

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5 comments

  • Avatar
    Tyler Schnug

    I think your explanation is misleading.

    I'm in the 72 hour test period and purposefully let my panel 30 second delay period end to see what happened.  The 105 db alarm started sounding and I then deactivated the alarm (in 5 seconds or so).

    I received a e-mail after this happened.  I've copied it below.

    Tyler's system: The Front Door reported a PENDING Alarm at 5:20 pm on Saturday, December 22 2012.

    What is a "Pending Alarm" event?

    To prevent false alarms from being reported to the central monitoring station and possibly resulting in an unnecessary police dispatch, most security systems today are programmed with a "Dialer Delay". That means that after an alarm is tripped, the system waits (usually 15-45 seconds) before attempting to report the alarm to the central monitoring station. (Note that Dialer Delays do NOT apply to fire/smoke alarms.) Unfortunately, that delay could give an intruder enough time to break in and smash or otherwise disable your control panel, preventing it from reporting the alarm once the delay expires. To prevent a "Crash & Smash" intruder from completely disabling your security system during the programmed Dialer Delay, your system will send a "Pending Alarm" signal to the offsite operations center as soon as the alarm is tripped. This tells the operations center that a Disarm event or an Alarm event should be expected from your system within the next several minutes. If neither one of these events is received, then the operations center will issue a second, "Suspected Alarm" event and handle the original pending alarm event as a real alarm. If a Disarm event is received within the expected timeframe, then the Pending Alarm will be logged but will not generate any alarm notifications. If an Alarm event is received within the expected timeframe, then the Alarm event will be handled following standard alarm reporting procedures for your account.

    This is an alarm message from LiveWatch Security. Log in at  https://www.safemart.com/livewatchlogin.htm to manage your system and view other recent activity.

    Then again today I did the same thing to repeat the test, and as before I received a pending alarm notification (awaiting programmed delay).  So this is only after the 105 db alarm was sounding at the panel.  Not during the 30 second programmed delay after door entry.

    So which is it?

    1) The initial "Crash and Smash" signal is sent immediatly upon door opening, before the 105 db siren sounds

    2) The initial "crash and smash" signal is sent after the 105 db siren sounds?

    How can I tell for sure?

    Thanks,

    Tyler

  • Avatar
    Brian O'Leary

    Hello Tyler,

    The Crash and Smash "pending alarm" signal is sent upon opening the door, during the initial delay before the siren goes off. However, Crash and Smash only activates after  5 minutes of the system being armed. To test Crash and Smash properly, I would recommend that you arm the system, wait several minutes, and then try testing the alarm. 

    Please also keep in mind that email/text notifications of a pending alarm will usually take 15-20 seconds to reach you, following the actual "pending alarm" signal. If you do test the system, please also call our monitoring station at 1-800-443-8865 to put your account on test, while you test the alarm. Thank you and have a great Christmas week!

  • Avatar
    Tyler Schnug

    Hi Brian,

    Thanks for the quick reply.  

    I was talking to the monitoring station today to extend my test period, and I asked them about this feature.  They don't understand what Crash and Smash is (according to your explanation) and is telling me the system and feature works as in #2 above.  Do you know why this is, or how I can test this feature of the alarm system?  My thought was to put it somewhere that doesn't receive a cell signal during the 30 seconds (such as in the oven or microwave).  Then see what happens.

  • Avatar
    Tyler Schnug

    Good News!

    I put my account back in test mode.  Then I tested the alarm system by finding a place in my house where the panel does not receive a signal.  I then armed the system, waited 5 minutes, then opened my front door.  During the 30 seconds I moved the panel from next to the front door, to the area of the house without cell signal.  

    After about 5 minutes I received a text / email stating the following.

    Tyler's system: POSSIBLE CRASH & SMASH. The Front Door reported a *Suspected* Entry Delay Alarm at 12:55 pm on Thursday, December 27 2012.

    What is a "*Suspected* Entry Delay Alarm" event?

    When your system is armed, certain sensors are programmed to start an "Entry Delay" when they open. Entry delays are commonly used with entrance doors. The Entry Delay gives the user time to enter the property and disarm the system before an alarm is tripped. When an Entry Delay sensor is opened, this event is immediately reported to the offsite operations center. The operations center will expect to receive either a Disarm event or an Alarm event within the next several minutes. If it does not receive either event, then a "*Suspected* Entry Delay Alarm" event is issued. This means that the main control panel of the system which reports to the operations center may have been smashed or otherwise disabled during the Entry Delay, before the system had the opportunity to report the Alarm event. The event will generate a special type of alarm notification that indicates the *possibility* of an alarm.

    This is an alarm message from LiveWatch Security. Log in at  https://www.safemart.com/livewatchlogin.htm to manage your system and view other recent activity.

    So it looks like everything is working the way I expected it to.  Those messages and the monitoring station could be cleaned up to make it easier to understand what's going on though.  Hopefully this post will help as well for future customers.

  • Avatar
    Brian O'Leary

    Hi Tyler,

    Good to hear that you completed a successful test. I apologize for the confusion regarding the Crash and Smash. Our monitoring station operators are trained primarily to respond quickly to alarm situations and it is possible that they misunderstood your question regarding the Crash and Smash technology itself. As your test shows, the pending alarm signal is triggered by the door opening and starting the entry delay.

    To make sure that Crash and Smash is working:

    • Arm your system, wait 5 minutes, then open a door.
    • While the entry delay is counting down, unplug your system and disconnect the battery.
    • Leave the alarm system powered down for a couple of minutes, and then power it back up. This way, no signals will be sent after you open the door. This should trigger a Crash and Smash alarm to be sent to the monitoring station, since no disarm signal was sent after the door was opened.

    If you do test the system, please also call our monitoring station at 1-800-443-8865 to put your account on test, while you test the alarm. If you do not put it on test this alarm will result in immediate police dispatch.

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