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ULC-S561 Fire Alarm Monitoring Explained Video

We’d like to re-share this video from 2014 which explains exactly how ULCS561 fire alarm monitoring and fire sprinkler monitoring works.  Enjoy!

Direct Link the the ULC Fire Alarm Monitoring Explained Video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zohZoFjjZ6s

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“Fire Alarm Monitoring Explained”

By Fire Monitoring of Canada

Have you ever wondered how the fire department knows there’s an alarm going off in your building?

Here’s how:

The fire alarm in your building is designed for one purpose:  to recognize a fire and notify people in the building to leave.  Sprinkler systems are designed in the same way, with the added ability to suppress a fire if it starts.  These systems typically are NOT designed to let the fire department know that an alarm has sounded.

That’s where Fire Monitoring of Canada comes in.  Without FMC monitoring your alarm or sprinkler, the fire department won’t know the alarm is sounding unless someone in the building remembers to call 9-1-1. If no one’s in the building, the fire department may never know, until it’s too late.

FMC installs a separate piece of equipment in your building to relay alarm information to our ULC-listed signals receiving centre.

This alarm data can be sent to our Signal Receiving Centre through any combination of phone line, cellular, IP, DVACS or other ULC-approved methods of communication.

These alarm signals are received at our monitoring station in receivers, which our operators acknowledge through our alarm monitoring automation software.  Alarms are presented to our operators with your building’s information and this is what we use to dispatch the fire department and notify the building’s keyholders.

FMC will call the appropriate fire department, verbally relay the alarm data to the fire department dispatcher who then will dispatch trucks to your location. FMC has 30 seconds to notify the fire department of the alarm, and cannot verify the alarm prior to notifying the fire department.

As per ULC standards, we cannot verify if the alarm is real or false because fire double in size every minute after the first 4 minutes, and Saving Time Saves Lives.

To improve how quickly we dispatch alarms, where available, FMC uses OPEN ACCESS™ technology to reduce the time it takes for fire departments to arrive on scene.


OPEN ACCESS™ is a revolutionary technology which electronically retransmits alarms from FMC’s Signal Receiving Centre to the appropriate fire department.  What does that mean?

Alarms still get to FMC’s Signal Receiving Centre the same way, however OPEN ACCESS™ recognizes the fire alarm signals and immediately delivers them directly into the correct fire department’s Computer Aided Dispatch System.

FMC’s operators still make a call to verify the alarm data has been received, however usually by the time this call has been made, fire trucks are already rolling.

OPEN ACCESS™ has been independently proven to reduce response times by 114.7 seconds, and reduce the potential for human error in the dispatching process.

At FMC our goal is to reduce response times and ensure the prompt notification of first responders.

If you have questions specific to your building, call us at 888-789-FIRE.

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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