Should you care how your central station handles power loss signals?  Communication line failure?  Do central stations handle these signals differently? 

    You should care because you are the dealer contracting with your subscriber for central office monitoring.  You've made the pitch for monitoring and it's your Monitoring Contract [should be part of the All in One] that creates the monitoring duty.  The contract should describe what you, or your designated monitoring center, will do upon receipt of signals.  Perhaps you can't describe all the different signals with specificity [you could but that detail may not be necessary in the contract] in the contract, but your central station should have written policy how it handles the various signals.

    Central stations recently discussed how they handle power failure.   With fire alarm signals the protocal is to dispatch.     That would apply to power or communication failure signals.  But what about other types of alarms, such as intrusion or environmental, and is there a different response for commercial and residential?

    Ask your central station for its signal response policy.  You should be familiar with it when you pitch your subscribers for monitoring.  All of the Standard Form All in One contracts provide the protection you need for monitoring - be sure to get those contracts and keep them updated.

    Here are the questions that were presented and a response from one central station - Nationwide Digital - which can be found on The Alarm Exchange:


Question: How many central station’s monitor power fails from alarm systems?

Answer:   I don’t know of a central station that doesn’t monitor “Power Failures”

Question: What are the pros and cons?

Answer: Pros: none Cons: When you call a customer to tell them and they say we know the powers out don’t you know there is a storm right now.

Question:  Do you charge extra for this service?

Answer:  No extra Charge

Question:  What do you do when there is a wide spread power outage in an area?

Answer:  This depends on the Dealer/Customer Instructions. Most of our Dealers will call stating NOT to call on Power Failures & Low Batteries when there is a storm in progress, and some of our Dealers want their customers to be notified no matter what is going on or the time of day or night.

Question:  How does your central handle the extra volume of calls?

Answer:  Depending on the severity of the outage we would call in more operators to accommodate the extra volume.

Joseph Vitellaro, Central Station Manager

Nationwide Digital Monitoring Co



Here a few other responses to the questions above: 


    We do monitor A/C loss.  If it is a residential customer and it occurs after 10:00 PM we do not call them.  The following morning we check to see if power has been restored.  If it has not, we contact them to let them know.  For a commercial customer, when an A/C  loss is received we contact someone on the contact list immediately, no matter what time it is.  We do not charge extra for this service.  In the case of a wide spread power outage, our software will indicate the areas.  We do not contact the residential customers in this instance…simply make a note of it in the software.  We do contact commercial customers.


commercial customers receive the same treatment as residential. When 99% of the people we called on commercial accounts told us to stop waking them up, we changed our policy.


Keep in mind that UL requires notification if the fire alarm system is going to be in trouble for more that 8 hours to the FM. 






October 2, 2013  12 noon EST  Register here:  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4971762135701038336

Title:  Detecting and preventing workplace fraud and embezzlement

 Presented by:  Judge Ruth Kraft, Chair, Labor and Employment Department, Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum, PC.

Description:  The webinar will discuss classic employee embezzlement and fraud scenarios, applicable to all businesses, how to anticipate the problem, understand patterns of behavior by employees who are committing fraud, and self-audit against these eventualities.

 Who should attend:  Attendees should be business owners-obviously not their staffers!

Embezzlement, in various degrees, strikes almost 20% of businesses each year.  If it goes unchecked, the results can be catastrophic.


December 4, 2013  12 noon EST  Register here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4919260455763006721

     Title:  What a Security Alarm company needs to know before attempting Commercial Fire Alarm Installations

      Presented by:  Bob Williams, President, and JR McCotter, Chief of Technical Services,   Briscoe Protective Systems Inc  www.briscoeprotective.com.  A fire alarm company servicing NYC and Long Island.

      Description:  Many security guys install residential Smoke detectors and think it qualifies them to install Commercial Fire Alarms.  This webinar will address the special considerations fire alarm companies face.  NFPA; NICET; Licensing; AHJ; new installations and take overs

      Who should attend:  Alarm company owners and fire techs.