Burglar Alarm Systems: Using the Net and Grading Systems

Ask the Security Alarm and Monitoring Expert

ANSWER: Grade AA is an obsolete descriptor. Unfortunately, its use is still widespread among industry insiders. It refers to installed burglar alarm systems using a method of line security. Strictly speaking, it goes further than the transmission path, to a certain set of elements of a system including the on-premises installation level, the transmission path, the implementation of "opening and closing" signals, the central station listing and the level of central station response and maintenance. All this operated in a closed system called a Grade AA service and was one of the classic central station services. There were also several other levels of central station service. Grade AA was used mainly for jewelry stores, financial institutions, sensitive military installations or wherever else a high security requirement was required.

Some years ago, UL "unbundled" the whole process with its "modular certificate." Each of the above elements are defined separately on the certificate and a particular level of each element is determined separately, usually by the covering insurance company or authority. Whether line security and encryption are used can be recorded on the certification on check boxes.