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Why ULC-S561 Is The Standard For Fire Alarm Monitoring

If you operate a building with a fire alarm system, then you’re going to want to ensure the monitoring you have meets Canada’s standard in fire monitoring systems: ULC-S561. The safety of the occupants in your building is a top priority but if you haven’t done your research on what ULC-S561 is and why it’s the only choice for your fire monitoring system, below are 5 reasons that will show why this system is the standard in Canada.

ULC-S561 Is Canada’s Fire Alarm Monitoring Standard

  1. Fire Alarm Signal Transmission & ReceivingEquipment used by ULC-S561 compliant systems are up to standards of another standard: CAN/ULC-S559. This standard guides how fire alarm monitoring equipment is manufactured and how it operates. Essentially, this means that your building’s fire alarm equipment will be able to effectively handle alarm signals within a minute after alarm activation. This is a unique function to equipment used in ULC-S561 fire monitoring systems. ULC-S559 also standardizes the equipment we install in our Signals Receiving Centre (SRC) to accept signals to dispatch.
  2. Effective CommunicationULC-S561 fire monitoring systems are designed to work with multiple types of communication channels that go from the fire alarm system to the SRC. These channels can be configured as either “passive,” (such as a phone line with cellular back-up, as we’ve covered before), or “active”, such as Internet Protocol (IP). Passive systems ensure that if one channel goes down, there are still others available and both active and passive systems ensure that the operators at the SRC will be notified about which channels are online or offline, increasing safety and effectiveness.
  3. How SRC Handles AlarmsFire alarms must be dispatched to the appropriate fire department within 30 seconds- without verification – under ULC-S561. Dispatching protocols are set in place to deal with various other signals which may be received. One such signal would be with communication issues, which must be directed to the keyholders within 5 minutes. The Underwriter Laboratories of Canada (ULC) – an internationally recognized authority – audit the performance of the SRC, acting as an independent third-party. Ensuring the SRC meets the above criteria means increased clarity for users of the ULC-S561 system, and accountability for providers who are ULC listed.
  4. High Quality InstallationsHow ULC-S561 systems are installed is defined by the standard, and major areas of the installation required by ULC-S561 include protected wiring, tamper-protected cabinets, and 120VAC hardwired circuits. ULC randomly inspects installations on a yearly basis, ensuring the system is up to par.
  5. SRC ConstructionCAN/ULC-S561 sets the standards for how SRCs are built, increasing security and effectiveness. Some necessary elements that must be included in SRCs outside of general fire detection include 24/7 backup power, high security access and fire-rated doors. This ensures your building is monitored even in the worst of situations with strong security and an active SRC building.

ULC-S561 is the standard in Canada for for fire alarm monitoring due to its thoroughness and accountability. Equipping your building with these fire monitoring systems will improve your building’s communication with SRCs, allow for quick response time when an emergency occurs and ultimately keep your building safe.

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