What Is a Central Alarm System?

Jun 25, 2019

Central Station Alarms

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, burglar, etc., the system does much more than just set off a loud bell or siren, or send an email alert telling you to log into an app.
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.


commercial alarm systems are usually required to be central station alarms

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.

monitoring centers can dispatch authorities quickly based on your alarm signals

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.

trained staff can monitor your alarm system when you are not available

Why is a central station alarm system beneficial?

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.
If you are thinking about installing a central station alarm system for your business or home and want to learn more about your options, let us come out to give you a free estimate. FSS can monitor your fire alarm, burglar alarm, security cameras, and more, all without breaking the bank. Call us at 888-412-5356 today.

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