As a security company, you have many choices in central station monitoring services to handle your subscriber accounts. The type of security systems you offer might dictate your service levels. But, when you contract with a central station monitoring service, they aren’t all the same. If you want to provide the best protection and adhere to the highest standards, you should select a UL-Certified central station.
What is UL?
UL is short for Underwriters Laboratories, a global safety science organization based in Illinois. To become certified or UL-listed, UL has created a series of “Standards” that companies must meet. This isn’t some arbitrary designation. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has approved the agency to administer safety testing throughout the United States.
UL works with both government agencies and private companies in the fire safety and alarm industries, as well as many others. They have established a set of standards that organizations must meet through inspection, testing, and evaluation of alarm systems and monitoring centers.
What it Means to be a UL-Certified Central Station
One of the first questions you should ask any service partner you are evaluating is whether the alarm company’s central station monitoring service is UL-Certified. If the answer is “yes,” many other items you need to consider – like staffing, monitoring equipment, and building requirements – are covered by that certification.
UL certification means that Underwriters Laboratories has thoroughly evaluated the provider’s services and facilities. This non-profit organization assists companies in achieving regulatory compliance as well as demonstrating the quality, safety, and security of their services.
UL offers three different central station certifications:
- Central station fire alarm service — This type of UL certification ensures the central station is able to notify the local fire department when there is an incident. It meets the requirements of the NFPA 101 and NFPA 72 codes.
- Central station burglar alarm service — This type of certification ensures that the provider is able to install and/or monitor systems related to the unauthorized entry on protected properties, informing and dispatching the appropriate local law enforcement when appropriate.
- Hosted central station — This type of certification ensures that the provider has met the highest standards of installing, testing, inspecting, maintaining, and monitoring central station alarm systems. This type of system is jointly operated by the service provider and owner, with the capability of quickly and efficiently investigating unauthorized entry on protected properties and taking appropriate actions.
How Monitoring Stations Become UL-Certified
A central station is a commercial company that offers residential security, commercial security, and fire alarm signal monitoring services. The central station receives instant notification when an alarm is triggered at a protected property. A trained operator at the central station makes the appropriate response. Companies that become UL-Certified are those that can demonstrate a high level of reliability and experience in these areas.
UL has established a series of requirements to become UL-Certified in its Standard for Central Station Alarm Services, or UL 827. There is an initial certification process that includes the following.
- Also known as “Listing,” the process of evaluating a central station for certification involves an on-site inspection of the central station operations and facility to ensure compliance with all UL 827 standards. The evaluator will compile the results of the examination in a report.
- A Certificate of Compliance will be awarded if the facility passes the initial examination. This allows the central station to promote its services as being UL-Certified.
- Once confirmed as a UL-Certified central station, the company is also listed on UL’s online directory, which businesses and consumers can use to find reputable and qualified providers.
- If the central station being UL-Certified is a full-service one, the business can use UL’s AlarmHUB application to issue Alarm System Certificates to customers, which may be required by code officials or insurance carriers.
Several changes to UL 827 will take effect at the end of 2022. So, it’s always a good idea to consult with the company you wish to partner with to make sure they are up to date with the latest UL certification requirements.
What UL-Certified Monitoring Centers Do
What UL-Certified monitoring centers do will vary by the company you choose. Our company, Quick Response, offers complete monitoring solutions that provide the highest level of service to your clients and reduce your costs at the same time.
Quick Response tailors its monitoring services to meet the needs and demands of each customer. Our monitoring center services remain up to date with TMA courses and best practices. We ensure our central station services deliver protection efficiently and rapidly by working closely with leading technology solutions.
Our operators are trained in working with the most updated notification systems. When you partner with Quick Response, our central station operators will help your business succeed by taking the best possible care of its clients.
Being a UL-Certified Station Isn’t a “One and Done”
It should give you additional peace of mind knowing that the UL-Certified central station you chose didn’t receive that designation a decade ago and then decided to rest on its laurels. In fact, central stations must maintain high standards to keep the designations they earn.
After a central station becomes UL-Certified, the agency enrolls it in its UL audit program. Under that program, UL conducts annual audits of central stations to verify levels of service and compliance in deliveries. It also offers technical resources to help agencies with various programs and standards.
UL-Certified central stations that are full-service companies also receive an assessment of various alarm systems through visits to protected properties. UL also provides certified companies with access to its technical experts to help member companies achieve success.
Quick Response Offers UL-Certified Central Station Monitoring Services
Now that you understand what a UL-Certified central station offers, your next step should be to choose the right partner. Quick Response offers industry-leading UL-Certified central station monitoring services at a competitive price.
We leverage the most reliable technology and adhere to TMA best practices to provide each of our clients with the trustworthy services they deserve. And Quick Response acts as an extension of your brand, so your customers get the high-quality services they expect. Contact us today to learn more about our services.