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Security & Fire Alarm Monitoring: You Get What You Pay For

Balance Value vs Price in Security Alarm MonitoringThere’s an old saying out there that we have all heard before:  “You Get What You Pay For”.  This applies to any product or service you may look to procure; whether it’s a part or widget, lawn maintenance or security alarm monitoring and fire alarm monitoring.   Consider this report released last week by the Auditor General of Ontario, which determined that low-bid contracts for winter road maintenance reduced public safety:  http://www.auditor.on.ca/en/reports_en/winterhighway_en.pdf (may require you to download Adobe Reader)

A couple of Key Quotes to consider:

The bottom line is that the Ministry has been successful in reducing and containing escalating winter maintenance costs, but this has been achieved at the expense of a reduction in the timeliness of ensuring Ontario highways are safe for motorists in the winter”


Contractors … were aware that winning the AMC would depend on their bidding the lowest price. Since the cost of equipment is the major component for contractors to base their bid prices on, it was in the contractors’ interest to devise work plans that required the smallest amount of equipment possible, and to base their bids on that.”

To cut to the point, the award of low-bid contracts resulted in contractors cutting costs in any way they could in order to perform the service and still turn a profit, and that resulted in a decreased level of service from the service provider.

How does this impact you, when considering a security alarm and fire monitoring provider?  We understand that cost is certainly important when making any business decision.  However, based on the findings of the Government of Ontario above you have to wonder how or why a particular provider might be able to provide their service at that “unbelievable” price.  For instance:

  • Do they use a properly certified (to ULC) monitoring station?
  • Are their technicians trained?
  • Has their staff been subject to security screenings?
  • What training do their alarm monitoring operators have?
  • Are they able to issue a certificate stating compliance with CAN/ULC-S561?
  • What training does their sales staff have?
  • Is the equipment they’re using ULC-listed?
  • Are they using a value-add service such a GSM communications or OPEN ACCESS™ fire alarm monitoring?


These are all factors which can impact the overall price of the security service you’re purchasing, which includes security alarm system installation, CCTV video installation and service, access control service and fire alarm and sprinkler monitoring.  These factors can all impact the level of service you may experience from a security provider, including signal security, timeliness of service and the level of service you receive when you speak to someone at the company.

As you know, FMC is a Canadian-Owned full service, ULC-listed monitoring company, and employs its own staff of technicians as well as owns and operates its own SRC.  All of FMC’s technicians are CFAA certified, which allows them to legally work inside a fire alarm panel.  They have also undergone training through the Canadian Security Association (CANASA) and gained ATC-1 designations for security-type installations.  Our Client Services and Sales force have undergone Certified Security Project Management training through the Security Industry Association (SIA), and are Certified Sales Professional, trained to operate ethically. Our SRC operators have been trained through the Central Station Alarm Association’s training and have gained “5 Diamond” status.  Choosing FMC ensures that from installation to servicing, to day-to-day interaction you are always dealing with FMC employees, and not a security company “farming out” the monitoring to a 3rd party.  It also ensures that you’re getting value from what you pay for and should expect – timely service, industry leading monitoring and first-class customer service.

If you have any questions about the information above, or wish to talk with one of our CSRs about how we can help you get what you pay for, please Contact Us.


Testimonial & Case Study

  • "Fire Monitoring of Canada impressed us with their efficient, professional manner – an approach that not only inspired confidence, but resolved existing service issues with another alarm service provider." - Administrative Coordinator
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  • "Their monitoring & service personnel are knowledgeable, helpful and responsible." - Facilities Manager
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  • "The FMC technician was exceptionally professional in the performance of his duties. He was very organized, focused, safety minded" - Asset Manager
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