Technology Gets in Tune

Technology Gets in Tune with Central Stations


Central station operators have little room for trial and error. Their 24/7 environment is one where immediate action in an emergency situation is a necessity and being able to rely on the right tools and services goes without question. Moving forward, it is already clear to see that technological advancements are already being developed, primarily for central stations, such as Web-based services and Software as a Service (SaaS), two primary areas where we can expect to see more and more central stations jumping onboard in the near and coming future.

Fire-Lite Alarms, Northford, Conn., is one industry player that already sees an increase in central station companies monitoring fire alarm systems via the Internet. Growing sales of its FireWatch IP Communicators and compatible VisorALARM-Plus receivers only supports their belief in this growing trend. On the central station side, expanded acceptance of IP communications has led monitoring stations, like Devcon Security Services Corp., Danvers, Mass., to install IP-compatible receivers.

“I think we’ll see a large increase in the use of IP monitoring,” said Roy Pollack, CPP SET and director of Operations, Devcon. “Technology is changing and your typical analog phone lines are going away.”

The growing merge between IT and IP is also inevitable and in order to keep up with the changes we are seeing in the industry as we progress into the latter half of 2009, central stations need to get in tune with the developing trends— those that don’t, will be left behind in the dust. This month, we’re bringing you the latest technological developments specifically suited for central stations as they move ahead.

AlarmPath Inc. now offers its first total data wireless unit. The AP-TDT total data unit reports all event conditions to any central station using the secure GPRS band of the GSM network when no phone line is present. The GSM network provides dependable, affordable, high-speed communication covering over 268 million Americans where they live, work and play.

Alarm.com recently partnered with several major central monitoring stations to begin offering a wireless GSM-based two-way voice solution that enables a direct voice connection between the central station and the security panel in the event of an alarm, without the need for a phone line at the customer premises. Like traditional POTS two-way voice systems, Alarm.com’s solution helps reduce false alarms and also facilitates effective emergency response in the event of a real alarm.  Because it uses GSM instead of a standard phone line connection, the Alarm.com product is easier to install and the perfect solution for the increasing number of homes and businesses that have abandoned their traditional landline phone service.

Chatsworth Products Inc. offers its F-Series TeraFrame™ Cabinet System. The cabinet meets a wide range of equipment depth requirements by including adjustable mounting rails that slide front-to rear, allowing the entire depth of the frame to be utilized. Depth support markings allow the adjustable mounting rails to be positioned vertically and horizontally so that equipment mounts effortlessly and moves and additions and changes are accomplished easily. Drop-in stud/nut hardware allows accessories to be mounted and re-positioned by sliding front-to-rear within the cabinet space, while lightweight side panels and doors can be detached and re-attached without difficulty.

Wholesale monitoring provider CMS recently implemented a unique Command Center, increasing its ability to quickly and efficiently respond to bursts in alarm activity across the country, no matter the day, weather, or if a natural disaster is occurring somewhere. This center, which works much like an air-traffic control tower, is operated by a specially trained supervisor and allows CMS to monitor alarm and phone traffic as well as weather patterns, available monitoring reps, response times and even phone answer speed. The Center consists of four computers, each running dual monitors and relies on real-time reports that show a summary of calls in process as well as updates from the National Weather Service. Call summaries are provided by a MASterMind database, which the company operates across its network.

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