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ULC Fire Alarm Monitoring Certificates: What Do they Look Like, and What’s on Them?

At Fire Monitoring of Canada Inc., while we provide all sorts of commercial security services, including commercial intrusion alarm monitoring, card access control, CCTV video surveillance systems, intercom systems and more, we specialize in fire alarm monitoring. This means the monitoring of commercial fire alarm systems and fire sprinkler systems to comply with CAN-ULC-S561 standards.

In previous blog posts, we’ve gone over the importance of ULC fire monitoring that meets CAN/ULC-S561, particularly its benefits, what goes into a ULC fire monitoring installation, how ULC fire alarm monitoring systems communicate and more. The only way to physically verify that your system meets the CAN/ULC-S561 standard is to have a certificate from the ULC issued to your site. A letter from your fire alarm monitoring company does not verify that your system meets the ULC-S561 standard, only the ULC certificate can do that.

As we’ve noted before, the ULC certificate holds the monitoring company accountable to the installation and monitoring that’s being performed. That ULC fire monitoring installation is then subject to inspection by the ULC to ensure it meets the standard. Have a certificate ensure to building owners and those in the fire service that a system has a second set of “eyes” on the installation.
The question then becomes how do building owners, property managers and fire inspectors know what a ULC certificate for fire alarm monitoring looks like, and what the information on it means? Hopefully, this post will help.

This is what a ULC fire monitoring certificate looks like, and the numbered items will be listed below:

ULC Fire Alarm Monitoring Certificate

ULC S561 Fire Monitoring Certificate

1. ULC Fire Monitoring Certificate #


Each Certificate is given a unique certificate # that is unique for each site. Underneath that unique serial # in the upper right is the issuance date and the expiry date for the certificate. ULC certificates for fire alarm monitoring are not indefinite, and expired certificates are no longer valid and must be updated.

2. Protected Property


This is the property that the ULC certificate applies to, and that the ULC certificate must be present at.

3. Alarm Service Company


This is the company that is providing service to the alarm monitoring equipment on site. If your ULC fire monitoring company is issuing a “Shared Certificate”, then the monitoring company would also be listed.

4. System Number


This is the system number which has been assigned to your monitoring account in the ULC monitoring station (Signals Receiving Centre) to uniquely identify the signals from your fire alarm system in their automation software.

5. Authority Having Jurisdiction and Responding Fire Department


These two items relate to the fire services which are responding to alarms from your ULC fire alarm monitoring system or ULC fire sprinkler system. These items are often the same, but from time to time may differ depending on how response is set up in your area.

6. Comments and Clarifications


This section is used for particular notes about a system. In this case, it is identifying the type of fire alarm system on site.

7. System Type


This section refers to what type of system is being monitored. This would often be a fire alarm system or sprinkler system. In this case, it is a fire alarm system, but in the case of a sprinkler system, information regarding the number of flow, pressure and gate switches would be included.

8. Alarm Transmission Method & Line Security.


These sections refer to how the ULC fire monitoring transmitter is communicating with the ULC monitoring company. “multiplex” refers to multiple paths of transmission, which is also reflected in the “Passive” Line Security. Line security can also be “active” and on a single line. For more information on the differences between passive and active alarm monitoring, please refer to this blog post.

9. Control or Transmitter Unit


This section details the type of alarm monitoring system on site. As an example, this could be an older DSC Power Series 1832 alarm panel, or a newer DSC Neo HS2032 control panel, or any other type of panel which is ULC-listed for fire alarm monitoring.

We hope this information de-mystifies the ULC certificate for you. Remember: only a ULC certificate states compliance with ULC-S561, anything else simply does not. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us!

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