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More on whether Fire Dept monitoring is less reliable / webinar registration - Miami building collapse case
July 22, 2022
Announcing webinar on the Miami building collapse case presented by the fire alarm expert who installed and serviced the fire alarm and evac system.  If you do fire alarms you don’t want to miss this webinar.  Register today.
Webinar:  Champlain Towers South building collapse / alarm and security issues
When:  July 26, 2022  12PM  ET
Topic:  Hear from the fire alarm expert who serviced the fire alarm system and was intimately involved in the litigation involving Securitas Security.                 Some information that you should be aware of before the presentation:  Florida requires a voice evacuation system that provides speakers in every apartment so there can be floor by floor or building wide communication to evacuate.  This fire alarm system had that system and it was working.  Securitas provided security guards stationed at the building.  When the first fire alarm signal came into the security desk the guard did not determine the cause of the fire alarm or the zone, and did not utilize the evacuation system to alert residents.  Securitas has settled the Plaintiffs case paying over half of the almost one billion dollar settlement.  
Presented by:  Matt Haiman, Premier Alarm Systems – the fire alarm company for Champlain Towers South.  There will be ample opportunity for Q&A. 
Hosted by:  Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Who should attend:  Alarm owners installing and servicing fire alarm systems
More on whether Fire Dept monitoring is less reliable from article on July 19, 2022
          I’m not sure I’d make the argument that fire department direct monitoring is less reliable, especially not for the reasons offered. However, this is largely dependent on the municipality doing the monitoring. If you know of specific problems, use them to your advantage. Otherwise, it’s a mixed bag.
          Two technologies are commonly used, the old 1800s McCullogh Loop telegraph (think Gamewell) boxes, and modern radio mesh network boxes (think AES.) Both work well, but the old telegraph systems need lots of TLC, so most cities are actively moving to radio. One could certainly make plausible claims about the reliability of 1800s technology, especially if it’s not well maintained.
          The other issue is the dispatch center, and the attitude of fire department management toward “box alarms,” which suffer from more false dispatches than central station monitored alarms, since there’s no attempt at post-dispatch verification. One advantage of municipal systems is speed. It rings in the station or dispatch center within seconds of FACP activation. Central stations can take quite a bit longer to dispatch manually.
    Best regards,      
Dave Colter CEO
Northmark Security & Communications LLC
Electronic Systems Contractors
          Thanks for your comment.  I didn’t think McCullogh Loops were still in use.  I suppose communication direct to the Fire Department will save 30 to 60 seconds.  I can’t say that time span is likely to matter and it doesn’t seem to warrant a municipality entering into and supplanting or competing against an established fire alarm monitoring industry.

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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