New CO detector mandate provides test case

Lowitt demos communication strategies with CO detector notification
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Monday, March 15, 2010

HICKSVILLE, N.Y.—In the course of informing its customers about a new CO detector mandate, Lowitt Alarms here also tested its newer electronic communications strategies.

It was a simple matter of notifying customers via email rather than snail mail about the new law, but it yielded better results, said Andy Lowitt, VP of Lowitt Alarms.

“We did get good feedback from the announcement,” Lowitt said. “In the past we used all paper for customer communications. We still do printed bills and some bill stuffers, but we’re trying to phase that out as much as possible. Electronic communication is so much more instant, it’s less costly, and we know who read the information when and whether they forwarded it.”

The new CO detector law took effect in New York State Feb. 22. It expands upon a 2002 CO mandate that required working CO detectors in homes that were put up for sale. Called Amanda’s Law, the law requires all new and existing and one and two-family “dwelling units that have appliances, devices or systems that may emit carbon monoxide or has an attached garage to have working CO detectors.”

New York is one of a growing number of states that have or are considering CO detector mandates.

“We install and central-station monitor CO detectors. We definitely look at it as an opportunity to install detectors and protect our customers even further and we want to let people know what the codes are,” Lowitt said. Monitoring CO detectors is also an opportunity to increase RMR, he added.

Lowitt Alarm has decreased the volume of paper communications it sends to its customers over the past couple of years, relying increasingly on email newsletters and other Internet communications with customers. It’s reassigned some duties of one employee to include the collection and management of customer email addresses and it has a brand new presence on Facebook and Twitter.

“This is definitely the future and the future is now,” Lowitt said.