Ask the Security Alarm and Monitoring Expert

A Blue Sky Outlook Q: What will the central station of the future look like and what services will it provide? Will it even exist? A: With today's amazing communications abilities, some may think that the central station industry is...

Many in the industry argue that truly manual operation, in a disaster situation, is rather impractical. This. of course, is true for the larger central station. It becomes more practical if the signals being forwarded to central station are routed through a number of subsidiary stations. These subsidiary stations are there to collect signals on a regional level and pass the derived data onto the central station. With a smaller load, should either the central station or one of the communications paths go down, signals could be processed at the subsidiary station. This is still a tall order, but somewhat more palatable.

Since yet another change will be the mass usage of IP, Internet Protocol, for all transmission, it will allow alternate paths for data from the monitored premises and should remove the need for a front-end receiver altogether. Closely coupled to this change is the fact that a central station of the future will, of necessity, be distributed. That is to say that the database, the processing and dispatch function will be accomplished from any number of locations seamlessly.

Louis T. Fiore is a consultant from Sparta, NJ. He is Past President of CSAA (1997- 1999) and President of L.T. Fiore, Inc. His practice includes the use of wireless and the Internet for alarm monitoring as well as regulatory issues for security systems in general. He also serves as Chairman of Central Station Alarm Association's (CSAA) Alarm Industry Communications Committee (AICC) and Standards Committee. He is the current chairman of the SIA's Security Industry Standards Council (SISC) and a long- time member of the Supervising Station Committee of NFPA 72. Send your questions to