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The Difference Between Standard and Monitored Fire Alarm Systems

the difference between standard and monitored fire alarm systems header imageAs 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.

ULC S561 Fire Alarm Monitoring

Buildings that are required to be monitored for fire according to the National and Provincial Fire and Building Codes have their building’s Fire Alarm Systems connected to a Fire Alarm Monitoring Panel which communicates with a third-party monitoring company that provides 24/7/365 monitoring service.  This ensures that there will always be someone available to notify the fire department of a fire alarm regardless of whether you and your staff are on site. We always recommend when choosing a third-party monitoring company to ensure that they are a ULC S-561 Certified monitoring company, as those companies must adhere to strict rules around how alarm signals are handled as specified in the CAN/ULC S-561 standard which governs fire alarm monitoring in Canada.

Trouble & Supervisory Signals Monitoring

Your fire alarm and sprinkler system have many checks and balances to ensure their systems are working properly.  In the event that something is not functioning correctly, a trouble or supervisory alarm will go off to advise you of an issue.  However, if no one is near the fire alarm panel to notice the alarm, it may go undetected and potentially cause the system not to activate as it was designed to do.  A monitored system eliminates this risk through reporting protocol established by the CAN/ULC-S561 standard, which dictates that all trouble and supervisory conditions be reported to the building within 5 minutes of receipt.  This allows you to remedy the issue quickly and avoid potential disaster.

Peace of Mind

A fire alarm at your building can be a stressful time.  Even in locations that have set emergency protocol, mistakes can happen.  A ULC Certified monitoring system will give you the peace of mind of knowing that your ULC monitoring company will take the necessary steps to ensure the fire department is notified quickly and accurately.  This allows you to focus on evacuating the building and ensuring that everyone is safe.

It’s clear that adding a fire alarm monitoring system to your standard fire alarm has several key advantages.  It is important to remember that when choosing a fire monitoring provider, that you ensure they will provide monitoring service that meet CAN/ULC-S561 standards.  With this level of monitoring service, you will receive protection and comfort knowing you’re in good hands.

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fire monitoring of canada logoFire 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 for more information.

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