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MONITORING YOUR ALARM SYSTEM
An Alarm system is only as good as the phone line it's attached to. Let's face it. In this modern world, we hear a lot of sirens. Car alarms, police, and other emergency vehicles inundate us with a whole host of weird and very loud sounds. They're designed to catch our attention, but we've also become rather innured to hearing them. How may of us have heard a car alarm in a parking lot, and NEVER looked? They are so common-place these days, that even the manufacturers are taking a different route to address the problem. The advent of engine "immobilizers" has become the single best response to the problem posed by the public's complacency. No one really pays attention to a siren and unless your alarm system is capable of transmitting an alarm signal to someone that is ready to initiate an appropriate response, it simply doesn't matter how much money you "throw at your system", NO ONE is going to hear it.
In North America, there are a large number of companies that offer services from simple monitoring to what's termed "runner" dispatch. Let's look at the types of services being offered today:
EMERGENCY MONITORING: The "basic" package allows for monitoring personnel to respond to a variety of alarm conditions that your panel is capable of transmitting. These can range from intrusions, to fire, to flooding, to detection of carbon monoxide. The list is almost endless. Your alarm provider should be able to offer all of these services. A word of caution however: Some providers charge extra for each and every monitored signal they receive over and above a basic "package". Check with your provider.
RUNNER RESPONSE: The perfect compliment to the basic Emergency Monitoring package, and the best way of addressing the high cost of false alarms. In some city jurisdictions, police response to premises that do not have physical signs of break-in is considered a "false alarm", and often carries with it a City Bylaw "ticket" or a Fine. A "runner" is a trained security guard that is dispatched to the premises in alarm, and will perform what's called a "perimeter check". This entails a thorough physical inspection of the perimeter of the premises. If anything unusual is noted, the guard will contact the local Police, and the monitoring station who will in turn start calling the keyholders/owners of the building.
GUARD RESPONSE: A step above "runner" service, most responding guards have access to the premises, a code to the security system to disarm it, and the means by which a more thorough check of the premises can be accomplised. As they are physically on site, they would be able to remain behind in the event a window has been broken, contact the owners/keyholders, make appropriate arrangements to temporarily repair or shore up any damage, clear the premises, and re-arm the alarm system.
What do you look for in a monitoring station? First off, the representative to whom you're talking with should be able to assure you that the station complies with one (or more) of the following:
FIRE PREVENTION LTD.
is Ace's monitoring station located?
The station is located in Burnaby, B. C. It's run by A.P.I., one of the largest independent ULC listed monitoring facilities in North America. A.P.I. maintains satellite data centres in two other cities each of which can act independently if the need arises. They meet all Provincial and Municipal regulatory requirements.
required to monitor a fire alarm system in British Columbia?
Your local fire department is the final authority having jurisdiction in this respect. NFPA 72 and ULC provides the criteria for the proprietary on-site equipment necessary to perform the data transmission, the type of telephone or communication interface, the central station alarm receiving equipment, and the central monitoring station itself. In ALL instances, the equipment we supply for the purpose of monitoring a building's fire alarm system will meet these standards.
my building doesn't already own one, what's the cost of installing
a U.L.C. listed fire alarm communicator?
In the Vancouver/Lower Mainland area, it's $850.00 CDN (including the alarm setup fee, GST is extra). If you have existing digital communication equipment, the ONE-TIME-SETUP fee quoted above applies. If your equipment utilizes DVACS or some other form of secure encrypted communication, then upgrading to one of our digital communicators may be far more cost effective. For a free, no obligation survey, call or contact us.
about guard or runner response?
Runner service is available for a low monthly payment ($15.00 CDN) in addition to your monitoring fee. This simply means that instead of dispatching the police, a security guard is sent to your premise. They will perform what's called a "perimeter check" to ascertain whether-or-not you've been the victim of a break-in or someone has accessed the premise without the proper authority. Guard response is another option. This is tailored to your individual requirements. Please contact us for more details on this aspect of our service. Please note that we will NOT dispatch a guard responder to a premise that has sent a fire alarm, medical emergency, or panic signal. The appropriate "first responders" (ie. Local Fire Department, Ambulance, or Police) will be dispatched instead.
* NOTE: The Silent Knight 5104C is no longer Listed by ULC as an acceptable communicator. Those units still in the field are "Grandfathered" (for the most part), but we would urge building owners and managers to check with their local Authority Having Jurisdiction to ensure any such installation still meets their requirements.
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