As we have mentioned in the past, there are many variables that you will need to consider when you’re choosing between different security integration providers. What many people don’t know is that in many regions of Canada, there are no requirements for licensing or training for security integrators. This means that anyone can start a security company and begin installing systems with little to no training on how to truly satisfy their customers’ unique requirements. This has big implications on the quality of the system and the safety of those that are impacted by it.
With this in mind, it’s important that you request proof of certifications and association memberships from the company you’re considering, and the employees that will be installing and servicing your equipment.
Here are three main reasons that security and fire alarm monitoring certifications are important:
- It ensures a minimum standard of service.
- It ensures a minimum standard of training for the employees.
- It shows the company is proactive.
A Minimum Level of Security and Monitoring Service
Companies who acquire certifications or join industry organizations or associations’ training show a commitment to meeting specific levels of service, which is beneficial to you as a customer. For example, security and monitoring companies who become listed for Underwriters Laboratories of Canada (ULC) fire monitoring installations have specific standards they are required to meet. One of the main standards is spelled out in ULC-S559, which dictates that all fire alarm monitoring installations must meet a minimum standard of operation, and the associated ULC-S561 standard ensures that the signal must be dispatched within 30 seconds without verification. Another example would include a company who joins the Canadian Security Association (CANASA). By becoming a member, they must adhere to a code of ethics and maintain specific levels of insurance to remain a member. In both of these examples, there are penalties for companies who fail to meet the standards they agreed to uphold.
A Minimum Standard for Training Security Installers
It’s also very important to ask what training the service technicians have in the company that you’re considering for hire. The CANASA-ATC certification, for example, provides training on wide variety of topics from electronics to false alarm prevention techniques. In another example, the Canadian Fire Alarm Association (CFAA) provides fire alarm training, which is critical to anyone performing ULC fire alarm or sprinkler monitoring installations.
In addition to these industry training certifications, many product manufacturers also provide training on their specific devices. This product specific training helps to ensure that the products that have been chosen for your system are programmed and installed properly. This training also comes in handy if a service call occurs. All of the major device manufacturers offer training for their products, so it is important to ask what equipment will be installed and whether there are certifications that go along with that equipment.
Proactive and Trained Security Companies Perform Better
Security companies that are current on their training and are active association members, demonstrate that they are proactive and committed to learning and growing. This commitment benefits you, the customer by ensuring that a trained professional has properly installed your system. In many cases, these certifications need to be regularly updated, and this ensures that your chosen integrator is current on the latest technology, trends, and methodologies to secure your facility and keep your building and its occupants safe.
Certifications to Look For
Depending on the security and monitoring needs of your building, we recommend asking your integrator about the following certifications:
- ULC – Listed companies are subject to an annual inspection of their work and monitoring by the Underwriters Laboratories of Canada.
- TMA Five Diamond Certification – A Five Diamond Certification ensures that all of the monitoring station’s dispatchers have been provided training through The Monitoring Association on best practices as it relates to the alarm handling and false alarm reduction.
- CANASA – Association with the Canadian Security Association ensures members meet a code of ethics and maintain specific levels of insurance.
- CFAA – This certification is required for any person to work on a fire alarm system. Any company (including fire alarm monitoring) which provides fire alarm monitoring should employ CFAA technicians, otherwise you will require your fire alarm service company to attend to verify the work completed in the fire alarm panel.
- CANASA-ATC – The Canadian Security Association (CANASA) provides alarm technician training which focuses on the proper installation of security systems and best practices to mitigate the possibility of false alarms.
Fire Monitoring of Canada has been a leader in the fire monitoring and security 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out the contact form below for more information that will help you choose an intrusion alarm system for your building.