A Lone Radio: Ask the Security Alarm and Monitoring Expert

Q Can a radio system alone be used to monitor a fire alarm installation and still meet local AHJ requirements that refer to Underwriters Laboratories and NFPA codes? In other words, can a radio system, connected to a central station, stand alone as a...


This can be taken a step future to back up all of the enterprise's IP needs. There are two caveats for this, however. First there will probably be a capacity and consequently a throughput reduction. Secondly, the cost of the additional traffic must be considered. The monthly cost for alarm traffic only, even with polling, is very competitive. The cost to back up an enterprise's entire data communications requirements, while not prohibitive, should be known beforehand to prevent "sticker shock."

A typical data speed for a wireless IP link is about 150,000 bits per second. This is about one third the speed of DSL. There are currently deployments underway to increase this speed ten fold.

You have heard it before here that the digital communicator of today will soon be "sunsetted." If your company or your central station is not looking at the use of IP as your primary means of communications, you could find yourself left behind in the not so far future.


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 Lou.Fiore@secdealer.com.