How Alarm Systems With Central Station Monitoring Work

Video provides verification that an alarm signal is valid or false.

Burglar alarms are electronic systems that monitor the immediate surroundings, such as the opening of doors and windows, and movement in hallways and rooms. Doors and windows require the installation of contacts, or switches, that detect movement. In the SMB (small to mid-size business) environment these systems can be wired or wireless. The advantage of wireless is that ESC does not have to install cables inside the walls and above the ceiling. In larger facilities, cable may be the best alternative, but there are repeaters and other wireless gateways that can be used to extend the reach of wireless tech.

The fact is, wired systems are expensive to install and wireless is easier to set-up. Instead of wires, they utilize transmitters. The downside to wireless, however, is these systems require constant supervision and maintenance to ensure efficient operation. If, for example, the sensors or batteries have not been constantly checked, the system may not perform properly. Most transmitters provide supervision, however, which means that 6 to 8 weeks before failure, a radio signal will be transmitted to the main alarm panel where it will be acted upon. Possible outcomes include local annunciation at the keypad as well as a remote response by the operators that man a 24/7 central monitoring station (CMS).

Intrusion Detection
Central Station Monitoring
Getting the signal to the CMS is one of today’s major concerns. In years past, as it still is in some cases today, conventional alarm systems make use of the Public Switched Telephone Network, or PSTN. This configuration features a digital phone dialer—usually built into the alarm panel—that dials the CMS. Digital signals are exchanged between the local dialer and the CMS resulting in the appropriate response.

In situations where the building is located out and away from a phone line, or where PSTN service is unreliable, there are wireless technologies that can be used to monitor an alarm system. The most simple way is to use cellular technology, but there are also private wireless networks that will enable ESC to monitor your system. The use of the Internet as a main communication method is still controversial to some professionals in the security industry. However, for the most part, Internet connectivity has become a fairly reliable means of CMS signaling.

Considering some factors, such as the location of the zone triggered and time of the day, the alarm monitoring center may perform various actions automatically. Some instructions they may initiate include calling the police station, fire department, or an ambulance service. They may also choose to check if the alarm is real or false. Some systems come with video surveillance to capture a criminal(s) in the actual criminal act, whatever that may be.


A Note From John Larkin

ESC offers a full line of wireless and hardwired alarm systems to protect your business or institution. We offer the finest in central station monitoring, as well as the most current wireless tech available to transmit your alarm signals to our state-of-the-art central monitoring system. ESC, which operates throughout Ohio, carries an assortment of certifications to comply with a wide assortment of code and compliance requirements whether they require state or federal approval. To view our Certification Page, go to: http://bit.ly/2GyLudb. To leave a comment, please use the comment box below or our Contact Page: http://bit.ly/2LkfvU1. To review our many services, please review our Services Page: http://bit.ly/2JQJTzO. -–John Larkin, ESC Senior Partner

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