The Benefits Of A Monitored Alarm System
Having the right alarm system installed on your premises could be what saves your business! The key here is to go for monitored alarm system as most fire alarm systems installed to date are not monitored hence the high rate of fires. In fact, less than 25% of installed fire alarms are monitored.
There are many misconceptions regarding the fire alarm systems. One of the most popular is that people assume that if there is a fire alarm system installed on their business premise, the alarm will automatically contact the fire brigade when the system is activated.
But this is wrong, as a non-monitored fire alarm system will only alert whoever is in the building at the time of the fire. During working hours, the sound of the fire alarm might provide sufficient time for the trained fire marshals to implement the emergency evacuation plan and guide the staff out of danger until the emergency services arrive.
Apart from having a monitored alarm system protecting your business, it is also essential to have the fire alarm maintained only by NSI and BAFE approved companies. Having your fire alarm system serviced and managed by accredited companies ensures full compliance with the current British Standards and helps to prevent any Unwanted Fire Alarm Signals (UFAS) from taking place.
UFAS are false alarm signals sent by the fire alarm systems monitored by the fire and rescue service only. Such false alarms cause unneeded calls to the emergency services and high costs to the business in exchange.
Should My Business Have A Monitored Alarm System?
The answer to this lies within the business continuity plan or with the insurance company. However, the answer to the following question should help you make up your mind:
“If your business s engulfed by fire today, would I still be in business tomorrow?”
In almost all cases, a fire would put you out of business forever. That is why the premises must be monitored allowing for the fire experts to tackled the danger before it spreads out of control causing irreparable damage. Fires can occur at all times, but with monitored fires alarm, you can at least mitigate the damage to temporary disruptions rather than full business shut down.
What Happens When The Building Is Empty?
Scenario 1 (standalone fire alarm system)
A factory set in a remote location, at the end of the day the lights get turned off and the doors locked. Later that evening there is an electrical fault that causes a fire to break out, the fire detection system activates and sounds the alarms. As the building is empty, there is no one to call the emergency services and no one round to notice the fire spreading. They return in the morning to find the building no longer standing.
Scenario 2 (monitored alarm system)
The same scenario as above, but when the fire starts, the fire detection system activates and sounds the alarms; because the system is monitored, the centre in charge receives notifications pointing to the activation of the fire alarm and contacts the fire brigade and the key holders. Then, the fire brigade attends and tackle the fire. This scenario results in disruption to the business, but still, you’ll be able to continue trading. Can your business afford not to be monitored?
There are many different types of monitoring alarm systems including BT Redcare, Digital Communications and CSL Dualcom along with a few others. These devices get installed within the protected premises and are then required to be linked to the alarm system. Once done, the devices are assigned to an Alarm Receiving Centre otherwise known as an ARC. The ARC receives the signals sent and can follow instructions for each particular site, as in contact the key holders, only contact the fire brigade or contact them both, the key holders and fire brigade.
MC Fire Protection provides customised solutions for business looking to protect their premises with monitored fire alarm systems. MCFP has been connecting customers to East Midlands central Station (EMCS) which is UK’s independent alarm receiving centre for 18 years. Moreover, MCFP has in place over 120 sites monitored in real time.
Its highly customisable services justify MCFP’s choice for EMCS as a business partner. EMCS provides smart test option for alarm engineers and end users. Smart tests offer instant access to the user’s system via smartphones or tablets. The system allows engineers and end users to start the test without waiting in a queue when contacting the ARC by phone. It also enables quick and easy access to all the activities that have been sent to the ARC, as well as key holder details, ensuring ARC has the correct information stored. The smart test facility is available 24/7, 365 days per year.
EMCS also offers a weekly testing facility. The end user decides the day and time in which they will carry out their weekly test, and within that 15-minute window, the alarm signals will be seen as test signals. Should the ARC not receive a signal during this allotted time, they will assume there is a problem with the communication device and contact the client to inform them that no signal was received. In most cases, this is usually because the end user had failed to carry out the weekly test and rarely because the communication device has failed.
All ARC ’s have an emergency abort line, so if your monitored alarm system activates and you are sure it is a false alarm, or if you forgot to put the system on a test when carrying out your weekly fire alarm test, you can contact EMCS to prevent the emergency services from being reached.
MCFP proffered communication method between the customers premise and the alarm receiving centre, is by using the CSL Dual Com Digi Air. The Digi air uses mobile technology, with a built-in world SIM using a patented roaming algorithm, to select the most reliable network, instead of a telephone line to send the signal from the customers premise to the ARC. The system can be easily installed and interfaced with your existing fire alarm and comes complete with its power supply unit.
Finally, the question you should be asking is, “Can my business afford not to be monitored?“ If the answer is ‘NO’, get in touch today.