We’re always here to help and to save you time we’ve compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the products and services that SMC offer. If you don’t see the answer to your questions or need more information please contact us.
How can I get a listing of all my accounts activity each day?
SMC provides several alternatives for sending Bureau’s their activity reports. You can receive a report via fax or email. Bureaus can also sign up for MASWeb which is a free service of SMC that allows you to run reports and make changes to accounts at your convenience.
I am receiving a message asking me to select an application to view the report in. What do I need to do?
If you are receiving this message, or one similar, then this would imply that you do not have Adobe Acrobat Viewer installed on your computer.
Can I access MASWeb from anywhere?
Since MASWeb is a website accessed through the internet, you can access MASWeb from anywhere in the world.
When I do a search, I see single arrow buttons and double arrow buttons. What do they do?
The single arrow button will advance you through your search results one page at a time. The double arrow button will advance you to the last/first page of your search results.
When will SMC receive my requested change?
When you save your change, the change is immediately sent to SMC Data Entry to review and accept.
When will my change be reviewed and my pending cleared?
The Data Entry Team will clear MASReview at least every 2 hours and accept any required changes
How do I use the advanced search option for a client lookup?
Simply enter in the information that you know for the given client you are searching for (i.e. City, State, phone prefix, etc.) If you do not receive the desired result from this search, then return to the advanced search window and redefine your search criteria to a broader range (i.e. only search for City and State).
I sent in a new account to Data Entry and did not fill in all of the monitoring information. I received a call that the account cannot be monitored. Don’t you have a master listing of critical data?
SMC maintains a master “Data File” for all Bureau’s individually. This data contains any and all standard information that is required to create a standard monitored account for the Bureau. Only site specific information is then needed and as long as all “critical data” is applied the account can go on line. Critical data includes, full site name and address, premise contact phone number, a minimum of 2 after hour contacts and any zone that is a higher priority than an intruder alarm.
When notifying the contacts on the call list do your operators stop once they reach an answering machine?
No, our operators must continue calling the call list until either an individual is reached or a message is left on all contacts answering machines.
Why does Data Entry call with questions on “New Accounts” and “Changes” that have been faxed to you?
We cannot risk entering the wrong customer information, many times faxes will come in and are not legible or there is conflicting data on the form. In these cases Data Entry will call the Bureau to clarify and ensure all data is clear. All data changes must be submitted in writing or by MASWeb to insure that the information is processed accurately.
What is an “Undefined” code listed in Alarm History?
This means that a signal received by SMC was not defined on the original commissioning sheet. It is the Bureau’s responsibility to update the information or correct the programming within the alarm system. Undefined codes are usually the result of a programming error within the alarm communicator or can indicate that a zone input has not been defined as to type of detector and description of location. This will result in SMC actioning this event as an undefined Intruder alarm as per your standard response.
What are Alarm Templates?
Monitoring alarm templates are specific to each different type of alarm panel and are individually loaded upon creation of a monitored account. The alarm template contains all relevant system events and a zone input related to that specific alarm system and once applied to an account provides our Response Centre operators an accurate report of the system on site.
Why do I get a report showing “Undefined Zones”?
“Undefined Zones” are codes sent in by the alarm panel that have not been given a definition such a Low Battery, Tamper etc. They are usually the result of an option on the panel being inadvertently selected but the code for the function has not been given to SMC. To eliminate these reports send SMC the correct definition for the code being transmitted.
While testing the operator told me there were no signals under that account number. Where did they go?
There are a few possibilities. If this is a new account going on line, the template for the account must be created before signals are tested. When SMC issues an account number we automatically create the template account. If you are a Bureau and manage your own account numbers data entry must still create the template accounts. It is also possible that your alarm panel is programmed to the wrong account number or Hard ID, the 1345 phone number is incorrect or the panel is not transmitting in a compatible format.
What digital format do you prefer I use?
We generally recommend Contact ID, since it typically requires the least amount of programming by the installer and transmits reliably even when line conditions are not optimal.
Can I use my own 1345 numbers?
An SMC Bureau is free to use either our 1345 numbers or provide their own (when approved). This flexibility allows you to easily redirect (port) your accounts without having to reprogram each individual account/client.
What is a Timer Test?
A communication signal programmed into the panel to ensure the communication path from the panel end to the monitoring centre is connected and working
Why do I have security calls listed on my telephone bill?
Generally this relates to customers who have an alarm system that communicates via a PSTN line. Your alarm system uses the phone line to report signals to the monitoring centre.
Who do I notify when I am going on holidays?
Contact your security provider and let them know when you will be away. They will make all necessary arrangements to your security account.
What happens if SMC cannot contact me and my alarm goes off?
Your emergency response plan will be initiated.
What is the difference between Duress and Hold Up?
A Duress situation is classified as being confronted or coerced with the threat of violence or physical harm. Note: Duress alarms generally mean there will be only 1 police vehicle engaging in urgent duty driving, with other patrols making their way to the area under normal driving conditions
A Hold-up situation is when a person or persons are being confronted with a weapon or threat of violence with a weapon for the purpose of robbery Note: Hold Up alarms for all police services generally involve multiple vehicles engaging in urgent duty driving (lights & sirens). This has the effect of increasing the risk to not only the officers involved, but also the general public.
Why do you call me first if I trigger my duress or hold up alarm and not the police?
Police regulations require alarm monitoring centres to first verify there is a crime in progress before calling Emergency Services. This ensures that false alarms do not take up valuable Police and Ambulance resources ensuring a prompt response to your situation.
Can my smoke detectors be connected to my alarm system?
Yes, your security system is not deemed a life saving device, such as a fire system, but safety devices such as smoke detectors can be connected to your security system.
If I walk in and my alarm activates why doesn’t anyone call me?
If your alarm sends a verified opening signal within 2 minutes of the alarm being triggered, this is treated as a false alarm and no action by our monitoring centre is taken.
Why do I get calls at all hours for low battery notifications?
Depending on the communications method of your alarm system a low battery notification may be the last signal received from your alarm system before it fails. As such it must be treated with the upmost of importance by the monitoring centre.
How long should it take before I receive a call about my alarm activation?
Security Monitoring Centres responds to events based on the ASIAL standards (Australian Security Industry Association). Alarm events are arranged in a queue to be actioned by the monitoring centre based on their priority. Please refer to the table below for a breakdown of the classifications and response standards.
Type of alarm and Response Time
High Priority Life Threatening e.g. Holdup, Duress – 60 seconds
Asset Threatening, e.g. Intruder, Tamper – 3 minutes
Subsistence, e.g. Low Battery – 20 minutes
Low Priority, e.g. Power Fail, Late to Close – 60 minutes
What options do I have for paying my bill?
You may pay your bill by using any one of the following methods:
Post a Cheque or Money Order to PO Box 35, North Melbourne Vic 3051
B-Pay or Electronic Transfer
Call or email us your Credit Card payment. We accept all major credit cards excluding AMEX or Diners Club.
Set up a Direct Debit
When is my bill due?
All invoices must be paid by the due date. Accounts not paid by the due date may be subject to termination.
How long from when I receive my invoice will I have to pay it?
You should receive your invoice 30 days prior to the invoice due date. Payment should be made by the due date on the invoice.
What happens if I cancel an account that I just paid for, do I get my money back?
A credit will be raised for the unused portion of your payment which will go against money still owing on your account. In certain cases where the account has been paid in full and the client no longer requires any monitoring by SMC, you will receive a refund of all monies owing.
How often will I get a bill for each customer?
We offer Yearly, Half Yearly, Quarterly (on the calendar quarter) and Monthly billing. We strongly recommend Monthly billing which will help maintain a steady cash flow for your business.
What happens if I put an account online in the middle of the month?
All accounts put online will start being billed from the commissioning date in accordance with your contract with SMC. The first invoice will include a pro-rata portion of the current billing cycle.
What happens if my account is closed for non-payment?
In order to re-open your account SMC must have an agreed payment plan in place or the account to be paid in full. (For this reason, we strongly recommend that if payment is going to be late, you contact us in advance and make arrangements for your accounts to stay open). Failure to comply with these agreements will result in cancellation of the account and possible Legal action.
Can I put a credit card on file and have you automatically process my card?
Yes, you may contact us to make arrangements for this to be done, excluding the use of Diners Club and AMEX.
What happens if I bounce a Cheque?
If you send us a cheque that bounces, your account will be charged $30.00. If you repeatedly bounce cheques we will require you to use another method of payment such as Credit Card or Electronic Transfer.
Why is a line that I cancelled on my current invoice?
Because SMC bill in advance there can sometimes be a timing issue before cancellations are processed. This line will however be credited from the cancellation date and you will receive an adjustment note for your records.