Any industrial campus, commercial building, or healthcare facility requires a great deal of fire protection and security equipment. You’ve invested in sprinkler systems and life safety systems, all to ensure your campus is safe and secure around the clock. But if something should go wrong — say a fire starts or your security system is breached — how will your team respond? Central station monitoring is an essential component of any fire or life safety system. Here’s what you need to know about central station monitoring, from choosing the right central station to ensuring you’re getting the most out of your central station monitoring provider.
What is Central Station Monitoring?
Central station monitoring is a service that ensures the appropriate authorities and personnel are notified immediately, in the event that your fire protection, security, or life safety system is triggered. A central station is a 24/7 center staffed with highly trained operators who respond immediately to any incoming alarm event.
In the event that your system alarms go off, an alert is sent directly to the station. Modern fire protection and life safety systems use cellular or IP connections to pass the signal to the central station in just seconds. When the central station receives the alert, they assess the cause and immediately contact the appropriate emergency response personnel.
What’s the Benefit of a Central Station Monitoring Service?
Central station monitoring provides continuous, 24/7 monitoring of your building or facility. No matter when an alarm comes through, whether it’s the middle of the workday or the night of a holiday, central station monitoring ensures your facility is always protected.
Central station monitoring provides:
- 24/7 monitoring of your building
- Fast response to any alert
- Ability to immediately dispatch appropriate authorities
Central station monitoring is a required service for many industrial fire protection systems, and it’s highly recommended for both security and life safety systems as well. When you work with a quality central station, you ensure you always have qualified, highly trained personnel monitoring your building, ready and able to respond appropriately should an alarm sound.
What Services Does a Central Station Monitoring System Provide?
While central station monitoring is most commonly associated with fire protection systems, it’s a service that extends to life safety and security systems as well. It’s also good to know that central monitoring stations can monitor for more than just an alarm. Many quality central stations also assess alerts that identify system malfunctions or a need for service, helping you ensure your fire protection and security systems are always functioning as they should. A few common services a central monitoring station can provide include:
- 24-hour constant monitoring
- Instant alerts for fire system actuation
- Instant alerts for break-ins, burglaries, or security breach
- Monitoring for sprinkler system malfunction and trouble signals
- Alerts or any issues that may indicate a system is experiencing failure
How Are Central Monitoring Stations Regulated?
Since central monitoring stations provide such a mission-critical service, regulation is important. In the US, central station monitoring providers are regulated by third party organizations that evaluate and test central stations. The two most common regulatory companies in the US are:
- Underwriters Laboratories (UL)
- Factory Mutual (FM)
Both companies evaluate central stations to ensure they are operating in accordance with both national standards and local codes. If you’re searching for a central monitoring station for your fire protection and life safety systems, choose a central station that is listed or approved by either or both of those two regulatory companies.
The Vanguard Fire & Security team is proud to partner with EMERgency 24, one of the top trusted names in 24/7 central station monitoring, listed and approved by both UL and FM. We’ve worked with the EM24 team for more than 40 years and recommend them with confidence to any of our clients. For support with fire alarm monitoring, intrusion and panic monitoring, equipment monitoring and even elevator monitoring, we always choose EMERgency 24.
For more information about central station monitoring in general, or if you have more specific questions about EMERgency 24, the Vanguard Fire & Security team is here to help. Contact us online or give us a call at 800-444-8719 today.