What you are about to read below is a portion of the “IQ” (Installation Quality) Checklist. The IQ Certification Program gives consumers a way to identify alarm companies that are proactively addressing quality and false alarm issues. IQ companies adhere to a rigid set of standards and operating procedures that set them above other alarm companies in the community.

This checklist is used by an installing technician at the completion of every installation to review that installation with the customer. If the benefits of being certified as an IQ company are not obvious, please consider the following:

  • False alarm reduction

  • Greater pride in workmanship by the installing technician

  • The end user can’t come back later and say, “the system was not installed to my satisfaction”

  • Excellent quality control on every system installed and put on line

  • Law enforcement officials know that this company does all it can to reduce false dispatches

  • Salespeople have just one more edge over the competition

  • Central station operator signal handling reduction

  • Reduced “go backs” after the installation is complete

At a False Alarm Summit, I heard a police chief say, “The problem with ‘IQ’ is that there aren’t enough IQ Certified companies in my area for me to refer to.”

WOW! I’ve sat through False Alarm committee meetings – one after another – and when I heard about the possible birth of the IQ program, I thought to myself, Now this is something that will really make a difference in the industry. This is a hands-on program that any installing dealer, large or small or anywhere in between can participate in and raise the bar.

False alarms can be measured and tracked and reported on, but besides having that information, show me a program that actually reduces the opportunity for false alarms to occur. Show me a program that is real quality control on every system installed. The industry training programs are terrific and they are a part of the IQ Certification program, but they don’t have the installer and the customer discuss and review the operation of an installed system to ensure understanding – and sign off on it! UL is a valuable program that sets forth needed requirements, but it’s a very different program with different applications than IQ.

I agree with George DeMarco in his recent editorial (see “Plain Talk,” SDM January 2004, p. 106) that the industry does need a unified mission statement that demonstrates our dedication to public safety. But talk is cheap. The industry needs to act on a unified quality control program such as IQ Certification.


Customer(s): Please read through each statement carefully and check off the appropriate boxes. Both you and your installer should initial after each section. If there is anything you don’t understand, please ask your installer.

Customer Satisfaction
All Users of the Systems:
Are trained in the proper operation of the system
Have appropriate simple operating instructions
Know how to cancel accidental alarm activation
Are satisfied with the work completed

System Test and Checkout
As the customer, I understand that:
All sensors were tested and performed satisfactorily
All devices are neatly and firmly in place
All silent alarms use two action activation or distinctively coded activation (if applicable)
There is sufficient sound on all audible alarms to alert any occupants with normal hearing

Installation Quality
The Installation Professional has explained and assured that:
All NFPA, state, and local codes were adhered to
All motion sensors are properly applied and walk
tested for coverage
Primary system power has been checked and is not
on a switched circuit and is secured to outlet
Protected openings have been tested to ensure that
siren sounds and central station is called.

Customer Initials

Installer Initials

Editor’s Note: SDM wants to hear your opinion on this and other issues that affect the electronic security industry. Contact the editor: Laura Stepanek, tele. (630)694-4027; e-mail stepanekl@bnpmedia.com.