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Monitored Vs. Standard Fire Alarms: What’s The Difference

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Fire alarms, both monitored and standard, can save lives and protect property from catastrophic damage. But there are definitely some advantages to having the the former over the just the latter.

As we all know, Fire Alarm Systems are an important tool that can save lives and protect property from the damage caused by a fire.  However, what many don’t know is that the fire alarm system of a building is only built to notify the occupants of the building that there is an emergency and they must evacuate.  This means that if your alarm goes off and there isn’t anyone who can hear and respond to the alarm and call 9-1-1, then the fire department will not be notified until it’s too late to save your property.  Conversely, when your fire alarm system is monitored, you can be assured that if your alarm is activated, the fire department will be dispatched by your fire monitoring service provider.

For more details on the difference between monitored and standard fire alarms, read on.

ULC S561 Fire Alarm Monitoring

While standard fire alarms are only useful if someone is nearby to hear it when it is activated, fire alarm monitoring systems are connected to a third-party monitoring organization that provides round-the-clock service. This means that there will always be someone to respond to an alarm situation regardless of whether you or your workers are in town or away on vacation. The third-party will be able to call the fire department to report the situation right away. The ULC monitoring company should conform to the ULC-S561 standard, which provides strict rules around how all alarm signals are handled.

Trouble & Supervisory Signals Monitoring

The second thing that having a monitored fire alarm system provides over a standard, unmonitored fire system is the ability to have trouble and supervisory conditions monitored. Your fire alarm system and sprinkler system have many ways that it can check itself to ensure the systems are working properly. In the event that someone in your system is wrong, a trouble or supervisory alarm can go off to let you know. Unless someone is near the fire alarm system to hear it beeping, you may never know that this is the case. This can potentially mean that the fire alarm system or fire sprinkler may not activate as it is designed to do. When a system is monitored, ULC-S561 says that all trouble and supervisory conditions must be reported to the building owner within 5 minutes. This allows you to address the issue as it happens, and potentially avert disaster.

Peace of Mind

Elderly people and young children won’t necessarily know what to do in the event of a fire, so getting the fire department to the scene of a fire as quickly as possible is critically important. A fire alarm can be a stressful time, and even in the most disciplined occupancies which train on calling 9-1-1 in the event of a fire, mistakes can happen. However, with ULC fire alarm monitoring systems, you won’t have to worry because the ULC S561 fire alarm monitoring provider will take the necessary actions to dispatch the fire department within 30 seconds (and even faster with OPEN ACCESS™) which can help keep everyone in the building — even pets — safe when they are unable to help themselves.

As you can see, adding fire alarm monitoring systems to standard fire alarms makes sense for a number of reasons. So in order to provide the best level of protection for your property, be sure to choose a monitoring provider which will provide fire alarm monitoring which meets ULC-S561. With this level of monitoring, you get protection and some peace of mind.

Learn More

Fire Monitoring of Canada has been a leader in the fire monitoring industry for over 30 years.  Trust the experts and give your property the protection it deserves, call us at 1 866 789 FIRE (3473), email fminfo@fire-monitoring.com, or fill out the contact form below.

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