How Alarm Monitoring Works

Sep 12, 2018

An ear-piercing siren and flashing strobe lights create an immediate sense of emergency and indicate an alarm of some sort has been triggered. While some home and business owners opt for silent alarms, most prefer audible signals that will hopefully scare away a would-be burglar. Now that the alarm has been triggered and the warning sirens have sounded, what happens next?
 
If you have a monitored security system, it won’t just be the neighbors or passerby alerted to the commotion, but also highly trained technicians in a central monitoring facility. Through special telephone or mobile lines, radio channels or computer software, alarm signals are received by the central monitoring station and, depending on the type of signal received and the municipality in which your building is located, the staff take the appropriate next steps.
 
In some cases, it may be immediate notification of police other emergency response personnel such as firefighters if a smoke or carbon monoxide alarm is going off or paramedics if it’s a medical alert pendant signaling. In some cases, the central monitoring company may first try to contact you, the home or business owner, to ensure a false alarm hasn’t been triggered.
 
Not all central monitoring facilities provide the same type or quality of service. Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is the largest and most well-known independent, not-for-profit testing laboratory in the world. For nearly a century, UL’s Alarm Certificate Services Program has been the leader in the security industry’s safety standard, setting and verifying minimum requirements for alarm service.
 
Always make sure the central monitoring station providing your service is on the UL certified list. You have peace of mind knowing your security system must be installed, maintained, tested and monitored in accordance with the most up-to-date applicable codes and standards.
 
If the central monitoring service needs to contact you prior to dispatching authorities, there will generally be at least two phone numbers they will try to reach you on. If they don’t reach you on either of these two numbers, emergency personnel will be called. If they do reach you, there is usually a password you must convey. If you are disabled and cannot relay the password, authorities will be dispatched.

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Monitoring isn’t required for your security system, but it’s highly recommended. The noise and commotion caused by the sirens and lights might scare off a thief in the night, but that’s not the only protection a security system provides. What if there is a fire or carbon monoxide leak? What if the occupants of the home or business are incapacitated? Making sure emergency personnel arrive on the scene as quickly as possible is paramount. Monitoring adds an important extra layer of security to your investment.
 
At FSS Technologies, we can monitor alarm systems of nearly any make or model, including 2GIG, ADT, Protection 1, Stanley, DMP, DSC, Ademco, Napco, Honeywell, G.E., FBII, Safewatch and many more.
 

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