Sunday, December 23, 2018

Can Safe Touch Help Me Be Safe?

safetouch-installed security system
Technically, I'm not looking for a security system right this minute. Maybe in a bit, once and if I get a job where I'm away from home. No, I need to find a way for my family to be safe with the currently unused alarm. Basically, we still can't test our smoke detectors because the realtor who lives one block away has not made it a priority to get the passcode for the alarm system from the previous owner. That means that I have to have an unhooked alarm that screams at me if I give it a current. Problem is that if I test the smoke alarms, then those also bother me until I plug the house alarm back in.





Maybe you can see the problem here, but I assume it's not real common. I also assume it is very common for real estate agents and previous owners to tell the new owner to stick-it once the purchase is made. Too bad that was the case with us. Honestly, it's been mostly small stuff I wouldn't generally drag someone to court to fix, but the lack of effort to help me has left me disappointed, especially after we helped the previous owner retrieve some expensive-looking medicines left in the kitchen cupboards.

So the realtor is not getting us the code to disarm (assuming there is one), and I feel kind of stalkerish going after the previous owners on my own, so the next step is to contact Safe Touch. I didn't want to deal with these folks because I've already had to talk to several alarm system salesmen. That is a part of life that sucks. They're like more annoying versions of Jehovah Witnesses in khakis. And a few have been real jackwagons, though I am not accusing safe touch here. Just one in the parade of punks.

So I tried to contact Safe Touch months ago, before I made a third effort through the realtor and neighbor, but it seemed the Safe Touch website was broken. I figured it out tonight, however. The form for service does not let you submit it unless you click the "Current Customer" button. I'm not a current customer, but my other options were sales consultations. I know I don't want those. I just want the stupid code so I can disarm the very loud alarm installed in my house and formerly serviced by Safe Touch.

How SafeTouch handles this request should be of interest to anyone who purchases a house in the area. I know I could call any of the alarm companies in the area to reprogram/add to the alarm if I wanted to pay for it. But I don't want to pay for it. The PO paid for it for several years. I just want the code. It's not like I'm a burglar hanging out in a house trying to get the codes to disarm the alarm as I try to burglarize it. Safe Touch can mail the code or check ownership records. Or have a JSO officer deliver it. Or call the previous owner or forgetful realtor. I'm hoping Safe Touch will be as helpful as McGowan's was with my thermostat issues.

[UPDATE]
Safe Touch is now at the two week mark. Generally, even over the holidays, if you get the cold shoulder for two weeks, it means no one plans on helping. After looking at some of the SafeTouch reviews online, it's not a huge surprise, but I'll still hold out hope. Here's all the response I have so far:


Thank you for your inquiry!
This is an auto response to let you know that we have received your request for additional information and one of SafeTouch's customer relations members will be responding to you in a timely manner. If you do not receive a response promptly, please click below to contact an agent directly.

Thank you for your interest,
Safetouch Security
Corporate Office
888.723.8682

With JSO going to a subcontractor to license security systems, I'm not really sure if there's any record of my system, since it seems everyone started over in 2017 with some company out of Texas.

[UPDATE 2]
I tried online chat and got a number to call. That person transferred me to another department (customer service). Ten minutes into being on hold in the call, I was glad I didn't have a siren blaring in the background.

Fifteen minutes in, I got a service reptilian. She said it was no longer one of their systems, that the smoke detectors should work fine (they don't), and that there were no codes anymore because those were pulled when the system was unhooked. I asked why the alarm would have been armed after the hurricane knocked power out, and the response was that when power comes back on, it gets discombobulated and goes crazy. Seriously, that was the official Safe Touch answer--you can check the recorded service call.

Glad to have gotten an honest-to-goodness electrical engineer on the job, I asked what I should do. She said it should work fine to just turn it back on. But she also said the smoke alarms aren't tied to the system in any way, so I'll check. If JSO is driving by and storms my house, I'm blaming Safetouch.

[UPDATE 3]
I turned the system back on. After a few minutes of the system beeping at me, the big alarm horn started blaring at me. Off with the circuit breaker. Then I tried entering codes in both keypads, and more alarms. Open a door, more alarms. My advice would be to warn neighbors you're going to work on a Safetouch installation.

What I assume happened is that the system was reset to be able to work, at least marginally. I do not know why the previous owner won't relinquish the codes, unless his family plans on invading my home at some point. If there are no codes, I do not know why the system seemed to work fine before a power outage (at least chiming for doors and not going off like someone was breaking in).

[UPDATE 4]
Officially, nothing works. I guess SafeTouch customer service nailed it with the old going crazy after a power outage assessment. I was able to test the smoke alarms and then reset them with a quick jolt of power to the system. Basically, the house has become unsellable with the current system of having to reset the whole alarm system for a second after testing an alarm. Any inspector worth more than mine will identify a problem with these hard-wired smoke alarms, which is tied to the SafeTouch installation. If you have an offer in on a house with a SafeTouch sticker, make sure the system and smoke alarms are functioning after you flip the power to that alarm system. That might seem like an odd demand of your inspector, but it's what now leaves me without a basic alarm system or a way to test my fire alarms.

If you're an independent alarm specialist looking to trade services or some free advertising, let me know. I bet there are a lot of folks in Jacksonville with security systems that need to be reset in some way. I'd like to direct these people in the right direction, since contacting the original installer is a waste of time. 

[UPDATE 5]
With SafeTouch out of the picture, I'm hoping a company like US Alarm of North Florida might want to jump in. There don't seem to be very many local alarm companies that even mention the Caddx Interlogix GE systems.