5 Star Muppetry!

Let me bring the following quotation from the NZSA website to your attention:

“If the alarm is sounding because it has detected an intrusion, a thief will try to silence the alarm by cutting the siren wires. Battery back-up sirens are designed to sound on their own if any wires running to it are cut or disconnected.”

According to who?

Here is the reality. The photo below shows a Subaru Impreza which has simply had the siren ripped out!

Mongoose M80GNZ Siren

The alarm was a “5 star” Top of the range Mongoose M80G. So much for protection hey!

The problem is that because the siren has a over-ride key it needs to be accessible. Forget any poor sales spin about “cutting wires” the reality is that a thief will simply rip the siren out of the engine bay!

Below is a close up…

Defeated Mongoose Siren

It’s not just Mongoose I’m having a pop at here. AVS, Uniden, Meridian are all listed as being “5 Star” alarms yet share the same weakness.

It really is about time the AS/NZS standards were updated. Given that the NZSA claim to represent the standards surely they should be asking these questions instead of me.

The bottom line is that most “5 Star” sirens offer about as much protection as a perforated condom!

Here’s a previous blog post that shows which sirens are actually effective: vehiclesecurity.co.nz/blog/battery-back-up-sirens

Real world siren tests can be found here…

vehiclesecurity.co.nz-home

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This entry was posted in Mongoose, Muppets, NZSA, Sirens. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to 5 Star Muppetry!

  1. David Harley says:

    You make an interesting observation but it is based on your lack of knowledge of the joint AS/NZ Standards.

    Your blog states:-

    “If the alarm is sounding because it has detected an intrusion, a thief will try to silence the alarm by cutting the siren wires. Battery back-up sirens are designed to sound on their own if any wires running to it are cut or disconnected.”

    According to who?

    This is according to the AS/NZS Standards 3749.1 2003. Clause 2.2.8.3
    “The acoustic warning device shall (must) operate if the supply, ground or trigger wires connected to it are cut or disconnected in the armed state.”

    The current AS/NZ Standards were written in Australia in 2003 which was prior to the NZSA vehicle group being formed. Therefore the NZSA did not have any input into any AS/NZ Standards – it was written by the Australian alarm/insurance/NRMA/testing companies etc.
    Standards NZ adopted the Australian Standards.
    The ‘Standards’ (thus NZSA Star ratings) are the minimum requirements – there is no maximum. If you have what you consider to be a higher level security product, then great, go ahead and sell it.

    You have previously been invited to make an application to join as an NZSA committee member which is the correct forum for the issues you publically debate on your blog. Once the new committee is formed, it can consider the issues you raise and, if found valid and necessary, then an application can be made to Standards Australia for the EL31 vehicle committee to be reconvened if they find there is sufficient interest in doing so. Since 2003, there have been no further meetings and so far no requirement.
    The EL31 sub-committee is made up of individual companies and interested parties who apply to be members and you could attend in your own capacity as Obsessive Security.
    Meetings are usually in Perth, Sydney or Melbourne and attending members pay their own way to attend.

  2. Julian says:

    Hi David,

    Once again I’d like to thank you for taking the time to comment on the blog.

    You make an interesting observation but it is based on your lack of knowledge of the joint AS/NZ Standards.

    Really!

    What part of the standards are you suggesting I have a “lack of knowledge” about? Please enlighten me…

    The Quotation that you refer to is taken directly from the NZSA website of which you are a member of.

    My use of the quote was simply to express my view that a battery back-up siren with an over-ride key offers little or no more protection than a standard siren.

    Do you really believe that a thief is going to piss around with some wires when they can simply rip the siren out of the engine bay? Someone clearly forgot to tell the car thief this!!!

    The ‘Standards’ (thus NZSA Star ratings) are the minimum requirements – there is no maximum. If you have what you consider to be a higher level security product, then great, go ahead and sell it.

    I fully agree with you that the 5 star rating is a bare minimum requirement. I know that I can offer my customers better systems which don’t put limits on the installation.

    I don’t sell any alarms that have a battery back-up siren with an over-ride key for this very reason.

    You have previously been invited to make an application to join as an NZSA committee member which is the correct forum for the issues you publically debate on your blog.

    Let me make things very clear: My loyalties lay with my customers. It is my duty to make them aware of the best options to protect their vehicles. I have no intention of selling an alarm with features that I believe are compromised and offer limited protection. Hence my reasons for this blog post.

    Do you really think that I should keep this information private? I have said before that I believe in being open and accountable and I will make my recommendations to the NZSA at the next meeting (Assuming I am invited).

    Speaking of which, you will be delighted to know that my application form to join the NZSA “Special Interest Group” has been lodged.

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  4. Heylin says:

    Reading Davids post and having worked in district councils it would seem the NZSA and the EL31 are very similar to district councillors or politicians.

    A bunch of highly paid ineffective suits sitting round sipping lattes and making no traction on things then patting themseleves on the back for doing nothing.

    An installer or customer for that matter shouldnt have to go through a crap load of red tape and fly to Perth to make a suggestion on something thats piss easy to fix and improves security for us car owners.

    Hope Julian gives you all a shake up.

  5. Craig says:

    2003. 2003. again… 2003! 8 Years ago. From what I have read above, am I to understand that the standards have not been updated since then? If so, that is appalling for an industry that NEEDS to be up to date with technology.
    Heck, Facebook wasn’t around in 2003.

    David Harley, instead of having a go at someone highlighting issues with your own industry, would your time not be better spent addressing the issues?

    Rather than saying:

    You have previously been invited to make an application to join as an NZSA committee member which is the correct forum for the issues you publically debate on your blog. Once the new committee is formed, it can consider the issues you raise and, if found valid and necessary, then an application can be made to Standards Australia for the EL31 vehicle committee to be reconvened if they find there is sufficient interest in doing so. Since 2003, there have been no further meetings and so far no requirement.

    Would it not be in your own interest to look at these potential issues, and bring them to the attention of the NZSA (which I gather you are a member of). If no-one puts the idea forward, then nothing gets done about. It sound very much like a “Its not my job” / pass the buck answer.

  6. Julian says:

    There is another way of looking at this. If the standards were improved then most Mongoose alarms would not qualify for the higher standard.

    Please note: You won’t find Mongoose, AVS, Uniden, Meridian etc outside of Aus/NZ. None of these systems meet with Thatcham standards.

    It is therefore not in David Harley’s interests to improve the standards because it may restrict Mongoose sales.

    This is why I have issues with alarm importers making decisions at the NZSA.

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