What Is a Central Station Alarm?
A central station alarm system is one that feeds directly into a central monitoring station. If a sensor on the central station alarm system is triggered, such as fire, smoke, C02, or burglar, the system does much more than just set off a loud siren or send an email alert telling you to log into an app. Rather, a central station alarm system sends an immediate notification to a central monitoring station where around-the-clock, specially trained staff make decisions on how to respond to the situation.
Why Consider a Central Station Alarm System?
A central station alarm is extremely beneficial for alarms that are triggered when you are not in your home or office or may have become incapacitated and can’t respond to the emergency yourself. You have peace of mind knowing that a specially trained representative will notify the proper authorities. A central station alarm system also allows you to use panic signals, ambush codes, and duress codes to help keep you and others safe.
How Does a Central Station Alarm System Work?
A central station alarm system transmits signals to the central monitoring station in several ways. Plain old telephone service (POTS) lines are quickly fading out of fashion as the method for transmission and cellular, internet, and radio network technologies are taking over in popularity.
When the central monitoring station receives the alarm signal, there usually is a verification process that occurs. The verification process may include the monitoring company calling a specified individual to verify the alarm wasn’t triggered accidentally or, if the company has CCTV cameras, the station usually has permission to access them to expedite its response time.
The central monitoring station will then alert the proper authorities to respond or reset the system if a false alarm occurred.
When is a Central Station Alarm Required?
Building codes require central station alarm systems for fire alarm and sprinkler systems in most commercial buildings. There are some exceptions if your building has 24-hour on-site security staff. However, this is extremely costly for most businesses. While they may choose to have on-site security during business hours, it is more cost-effective to have a central station alarm system for off-hours.
The central monitoring station itself must comply with the governing Underwriters Laboratories (UL) standards, as well as the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) codes and standards. These standards include items such as 24/7 operations, trained staff, regulations for backup power, record keeping, reporting, and testing and maintenance.
FSS Technologies can provide central station alarm solutions like fire alarms, burglar alarms, and security cameras at an affordable price. Contact us today for your free estimate.