For many years, fire alarm systems in the United States have been monitored via telephone lines. If an alarm goes off, the signal is sent through the phone line. A central monitoring station then receives this signal. After the signal is received, emergency services are dispatched. These systems are monitored 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
For most commercial spaces, fire alarm monitoring systems still operate using phone lines. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) requires all commercial fire alarm monitoring services to have at least two communication lines connected to the panel. This measure ensures that if one line is busy, the other line can get the emergency message out.
Updated NFPA code allows businesses to have one line connected to a traditional phone cable and another connected to a managed, facilities-based voice network. These two lines assure that signals will still be received should one line of communication go down.
Cellular System Upgrades
As technology has advanced, companies now have more options when they install fire systems. Today, more and more fire alarm systems are being switched from phone line monitoring to cellular monitoring. With cellular monitoring, the signal from an alarm is sent directly to the monitoring company through the cellular towers instead of phone lines.
Cellular monitoring has the potential to save businesses a considerable amount of money. By replacing the landlines, companies can also gain peace of mind knowing that fire alarm signals will still be dispatched, even if no phone lines are available.
VOIP vs. POTS Line
Landline-monitored systems require two plain old telephone service (POTS) lines. Nowadays, businesses are starting to switch to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) lines. VoIP lines tend to be less expensive and are more reliable than the traditional POTS lines.
However, the issue with VOIP lines is that they’re not compatible with fire systems. Due to these compatibility issues, many business owners decide to keep their POTS lines. For business owners who want to move away from landline monitoring, The simplest way around the POTS line issue is to install a cellular communicator.
New Technology In Commercial Fire Alarm Monitoring
While traditional fire protection systems operate via phone lines, new technology has allowed fire monitoring through integrated alarm protection systems. Intruder alarm monitoring stations can connect to fire alarm and Co2 monitors to enable remote monitoring and cellular dispatch. Businesses and homeowners can get alerts about their system utilizing one central station.
Remote fire protection offers owners the ability to ensure that their system is working properly through smartphone apps. If a smoke alarm or sprinkler system is set off, emergency services can be dispatched via the cell services and notifications can be received directly to a smartphone.
Learn More About Commercial Fire Alarm Systems
Commercial buildings are all required to have up-to-date fire alarm systems. Federal, state, and local fire codes must be taken into consideration when installing and updating monitors. For most commercial spaces, fire protection includes smoke detectors, Co2 monitors, sprinklers, and audible sounding alarms.
Installing and maintaining these systems is required, but many businesses are looking for ways to be mindful of spending. When you partner with Security Alarm you can achieve comprehensive security and save money at the same time.