The DIY Security Blog

May 5, 2010

“Crash & Smash” Detection Feature on GSM Modules

A vulnerability of all alarm panels is that intruders have a fair amount of time to find and destroy a panel before it reports the intrusion to the central station. With All-in-one alarm panels, this risk is even higher because the system is usually located near the door where the user can get easy access to the built-in keypad. The Security Industry Association’s CP-01 standard and other initiatives encourage longer entry-delay and dialer-delay settings for control panels in order to reduce the frequency of false alarms. Unfortunately this increases the panel’s vulnerability to “Crash & Smash” (not to be confused with “smash and grab”) incidents because these settings give the intruder more time to find and destroy the control panel before it sends the alarm message to the central station. has introduced a new feature that allows the dealer or end user to set longer entry-delays and dialer-delays in alarm panels without increasing the panel’s vulnerability to physical attacks.’s patent-pending “Crash & Smash” protection provides protection against panel destruction that is equivalent to a ~10 second entry-delay and ~10 second dialer-delay, regardless of the actual settings of these options.

Legacy POTS alarm panels that do not have “Crash & Smash” detection give the intruder 30-120 seconds of entry-delay time, 30-45 seconds of dialer-delay time and 20-30 seconds of actual dialing time to find and disable the panel before the alarm is received by the central station.

With “Crash & Smash” protection, the Netowork Operations Center (NOC) is aware of the intrusion within a few seconds, so the alarm will get reported to the central station even if the panel is disabled during the entry-delay, dialer-delay, or attempted call. Residential and commercial clients can program generous entry-delays and dialer-delays into their alarm panels without worrying about increased risk of panel destruction by an intruder. “Crash & Smash” detection promotes false alarm reduction techniques without increasing the risk of system failure during a true intrusion.

Because the GSM modules send sensor and system event notifications in near real-time to the NOC, it is aware of the status of all “alarms-in-progress” as they occur – not only after the panel tries to report an alarm to the central station.

A traditional central station is aware of two alarm states: “In Alarm” and “Not in Alarm”. The NOC is aware of all the steps as an intrusion unfolds: “Armed”, “Entry-delay started”, “Dialer-delay started” (siren sounds) and “In Alarm”. The NOC also knows that once an intrusion sensor is tripped, an alarm can only be avoided if the system is disarmed before the entry-delay expires or cancelled before the dialer-delay expires. The NOC knows that someone or something has disabled the panel’s ability to communicate with the NOC if a “Disarmed”, “Alarm cancelled” or “Alarm” code is not received from the panel soon after the alarm sequence begins.

When the NOC detects a possible “Crash & Smash” condition after the siren sounds it can send a “Suspected Alarm (Possible Crash & Smash)” email/text/Phone alart to users, and it will send the intrusion code and zone information as a normal Alarm message to the central station. If the NOC determines that the alarm panel was disabled before the entry-delay expired, it can send a “Suspected Entry Delay Alarm (Possible Crash & Smash)” email/text/phone alart to users and it will send an alarm message to the central station.

Supported Panels:

“Crash & Smash” is only available with an Interactive Alarm Monitoring service plan. Cellular alarm service through without the interactive upgrade is not compatible with this service.


  • “Crash & Smash” monitoring does not begin until 10 minutes after the panel is armed.
  • Fire alarms and panics do not have any entry-delay or dialer-delay, so “Crash & Smash” protection does not apply to these events.
  • Police and medical alarm from the keypad do have a dialer-delay and do benefit from “Crash & Smash” protection on the Concord panel, but do not use dialer-delay on Simon and Simon XT panels. cellular interactive service is available from GeoArm for only $25 monthly, and can be paired with the purchase of a new GE Simon XT wireless security system.


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