As a security business, you need to be able to offer high-quality services to your clients. Beyond installing functional equipment, most customers want and need ongoing monitoring for things like fire, theft, and medical emergencies.
The alarm monitoring company you choose can make a significant difference in the success or failure of your business. You want a business that delivers what they promise and acts as an extension of your brand. Here’s what you need to know about central station monitoring services and how to choose the best alarm monitoring company for your business.
What Is Central Station Monitoring?
A central monitoring station (CMS) is an off-site location that monitors customer alarm systems for unusual activity or triggered events, like motion sensors or smoke alarms. When an alarm is activated, the central station personnel will follow established protocols, which usually involve dispatching local authorities (police, fire, EMS, etc.) to the location.
The benefit of these services is that they provide 24/7 expert monitoring when no one is on the premises, and even during business hours, a central station monitor can often be the first to detect a serious issue on-site because that is their primary focus.
How to Choose the Best Alarm Monitoring Company for Your Security Business
What makes one alarm monitoring service better than the next? There are many central station monitoring companies, and each will probably claim to be the best, most secure, and fastest. When you offer these services to your clients, you truly want to give them the best possible experience. Here is how you can choose the best alarm monitoring company for your security business.
1. Research, Research, Research!
The last thing you want is to choose the wrong alarm monitoring service for your clients. Getting set up and rolling out an integrated program requires a commitment of time, so you don’t want to do this twice. Make sure you do some thorough research before choosing the right business partner.
People often take to the internet to post their poor experiences in greater numbers than their positive ones. Don’t hesitate to contact the companies you’re interested in to ask them for references. The reputable ones will be happy to connect you with current and past clients.
2. UL-Certification Is a Must
One of the most important questions you can ask any potential alarm monitoring service is whether or not they are UL-listed. A vendor that has UL certification will also have many of the other things you’d need to worry about, such as monitoring equipment, proper facilities, and appropriate staff.
UL is short for Underwriters Laboratories. A UL-certified central station has satisfied the strict requirements of this agency to demonstrate the safety, quality, and security of its services. These companies also meet ongoing compliance requirements and undergo rigorous audits.
3. Other Vendor Certifications
When you ask about UL listing, make sure you find out what other certifications the company has. For example, having a TMA Five Diamond designation from The Monitoring Association is a big deal. Out of over 3,700 monitoring centers in North America, only about five percent receive this elite designation showing the business goes above and beyond with their quality services.
4. Fully Integrated Services
Even if your clients only want monitoring for fire safety, it’s a good idea to offer several options that are fully integrated. In other words, the central station monitoring service you choose should be able to deliver a host of services, including fire, security, and life safety monitoring. This provides a convenient and seamless service for your security service clients.
5. Experience Matters!
Look for a business partner that has years of experience in the industry. Ideally, they will have a solid depth of expertise in providing central station monitoring services, so you can be assured your clients are in good hands.
6. Knowledgeable and Trained Technicians
An alarm monitoring service needs high-tech equipment, but it won’t do your business or its clients much good if there aren’t knowledgeable and trained technicians on staff to operate it and make sound decisions.
Find out what type of training employees receive and the requirements for employment as a technician. Ideally, staff should have a strong knowledge of National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) codes and standards. Complying with these is vital for services with commercial clients.
7. Ongoing Support
Another important consideration is the level of support you can expect from the alarm monitoring service you choose. If they aren’t going to be there when you or your clients need them, what’s the point? The best central station monitoring services will offer 24/7 availability and several ways to access the system. This might include an app, web portal, or simple phone support.
8. Emergency Backup
Finally, ask any potential partners what their backup plan is in case of a power outage or some other emergency situation. The most reputable companies will have a backup plan for every potential thing that could go wrong with their monitoring services—power failures, natural disasters, human error, etc. This ensures that clients won’t suffer from issues that are beyond their control.
Choose Quick Response for Your Security Business’s Alarm Monitoring Services
Security systems are a vital investment for property owners and should be installed and monitored by a reputable security company. To work well, these systems require an ongoing commitment to service, so choosing the right alarm monitoring company can make or break your business.
Quick Response is a national leader in 24/7 alarm monitoring technology. We are a UL-listed, five diamond-certified central monitoring station provider with over 40 years of industry experience. Contact us today for more information about how our complete monitoring services can help your alarm business succeed.