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More on fire dept v monitoring center performance
August 6, 2022
More on fire dept v monitoring center performance from article on July 22, 2022
            With reference to the comments in the July 22, 2022 article, yes there is a time difference between direct connections to the fire department instead of through a central station.   That was a nice history lesson of the past and there was a purpose then to do things that way.   Does this person share that belief as it applies to burglar alarm systems as well that used to go directly to the police departments?   Should that be re-erected for direct police department monition to save time in the response?  
            As far as the time concerns that have been greatly reduced with new technology some of that time can be attributed to the processing of the signals, such as an alarm followed by a restore.   Because of the fact that in most cases a telephone call still has to be made to the fire department, as opposed to a direct retransmission via a computer network, that time is lost and that would not be the case if it was.   Resolved that and make up the lost time.
            Thanks for your participation on this forum.  I'm not sure that burglary alarm and fire alarms equate the same.  Many jurisdictions now require some form of verification before they will take a burglar alarm seriously.  Not so much with a fire alarm.  I suspect that fire departments won't or don't do verification; maybe they do.  Will they roll out the trucks first and then refuse to turn them around if they figure out it's a false alarm?  Maybe in your town, but not all. 
            Fire alarms, especially commercial fire alarms, are supposed to be called in to the fire department immediately, without verification in advance.  This shortens the time between the monitoring center's receipt of the signal and the call to the fire department.  For sure there is a human element in the time equation.  But the signal from the premises to the monitoring center, and the call from the monitoring center to the fire department depends on communication carriers that are not owned or controlled by the monitoring center or the fire department.  I suppose that two humans are involved in that communication loop. 
            I am hard pressed to justify fire departments gearing up for fire alarm monitoring when the service is provided by private monitoring centers who have met all the industry standards and fire department requirements [and if they haven't that's a problem].  It starts with the dealer who installs the system obviously, and for commercial fire that should mean code compliance and AHJ involvement.  Maybe AHJ's need to ask what monitoring center is providing the monitoring.  Some may not even be licensed in the jurisdiction. 
            No one has provided any statistics regarding time delay and I suspect that it's negligible to best. 
            How fire departments will respond to trouble signals is another matter.  Will the fire departments even be able to differentiate between signals?  Some fire departments will collaborate with alarm companies, maybe central stations, to install and maintain the receivers.  Seems like re-inventing the wheel.  I'm skeptical by nature and can't help but wonder whether the real motivation these municipalities have isn't opportunity for patronage and worse?  Does the municipality really think it can find and pay operators, supervisors and head honchos any better than monitoring centers?  Isn't that what's it really about?

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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301