Why You Need To Combine Your Central Station With Proprietary Monitoring

By Ziad Alezabi

February 8, 2024

There is a noticeable trend among fire departments. mainly driven by younger staff who are looking for more advanced and cost-effective solutions. The younger generation of staff in fire alarm monitoring naturally lean towards Central Stations.

This shift in thinking makes sense because younger generations are looking to future-proof their departments while saving money.

Admittedly, proprietary fire alarm monitoring can put you in a front-seat position where you need to be responsible for more factors such as:

  • Equipment Maintenance and Upgrades: Staying ahead with the latest technology requires regular maintenance and timely upgrades to alarm systems.
  • Training and Certification: Ensuring staff is properly trained and certified to handle sophisticated proprietary systems.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Keeping ahead of the constantly-changing fire safety regulations and codes to maintain compliance.
  • Direct Response Management: Managing the direct response to alarms and effectively coordinating with fire departments and other emergency services.
  • Investment Costs: Allocating significant upfront capital for equipment and infrastructure needed for proprietary monitoring.
  • Technical Support: Providing round-the-clock technical support to address any issues that may arise with the alarm systems.

However, Central Stations have their weaknesses too. While reporting to a central station takes the responsibility off your shoulders, it places your facility, campus, base, or municipality at risk.

Central Stations Are Exceedingly Slow

There is a reoccurring pattern of central stations having a 90 to 120-second delay in reporting alarms to emergency response units.

While that may not seem like a big time gap, you can find endless examples online where the difference between life and death in emergency responses was a matter of as little as 10 seconds.

Unavoidable Central Station Delays

Central station monitoring means that your alarms will go through various locations to a centralized monitoring facility.

When the central station receives your alarm signal, an operator at the station must verify that it's authentic before they send a dispatch notice to emergency response units.

This verification process alone can cause a delay that may be detrimental to the emergency at hand. When you add factors such as:

  • Communication protocol speed When you are leaving a closed network report your alarm to a monitoring facility that may be an entire state away.
  • Staff response times vary because you are not in control of who gets to monitor, verify, and dispatch your alarm. This becomes more of a liability if your central station has a higher workload or a staffing issue.

When you take away responsibility from your hands, you are also taking away your control over your fate.

If you combine this with the fact that central stations don't just have an unpredictable reporting factor but also report alarms for many other facilities, you start to realize that it's too unreliable to be a standalone solution for your fire alarm monitoring.

Errors in Central Station Fire Alarm Reporting

Communications, false alarms, and technical glitches can cause complacency and confusion among responders at the central station.

If false alarms occur too often, the responders will become desensitized to alarms in general. Responders may also commit errors during periods of high call volume.

All of these factors can cause loss of life, legal consequences, and property damage.

Integrating Central Stations With Proprietary Fire Alarm Monitoring

Central station or in-house monitoring?

Integrating central stations with proprietary monitoring systems equips you with a proactive alarm reporting structure where each side's strength makes up for the other's weakness. Let's dive into how proprietary alarm monitoring can improve your existing central station alarm reporting:

Central stations and proprietary monitoring systems offer unique benefits for alarm monitoring and emergency response. Central stations provide centralized management and remote monitoring capabilities, while proprietary systems offer real-time data and customized alerts.

Integrating these systems allows for parallel monitoring, faster response times, and greater customization. It also enables seamless data integration and analysis, facilitating continuous improvement of monitoring processes.

This comprehensive solution helps organizations meet regulatory compliance requirements and optimize their monitoring and response strategies.

ChatGPT Will Bring Proprietary Alarm Monitoring Back

ChatGPT is a generative pre-trained transformer (GPT). Due to its excelling in natural language processing tasks, it will be able to generate contextually relevant and coherent responses.

Moving forward, technology will be integrated that allows ChatGPT to introduce AI text-to-speech in monitoring systems. This gives you real-time auditory alerts and notifications that would enable your emergency response units to make faster decision-making in environments with displays.

AI integration in fire alarm monitoring will:

  1. Enable you to make decisions faster
  2. Enhance your response unit's situational awareness
  3. Enable real-time detection and classification of alarm events

By automating tasks, reducing cognitive load, and improving communication, AI improves the effectiveness and efficiency of monitoring systems. It also facilitates predictive analytics and anomaly detection, allowing for proactive hazard management. Overall, AI integration helps organizations respond effectively to emergencies and mitigate risks.

In summary, ChatGPT's advanced NLP capabilities make it a valuable tool for facilitating text-to-speech integration in proprietary monitoring systems, while AI integration offers numerous benefits, including faster decision-making and enhanced situational awareness, in fire alarm monitoring and emergency response contexts.

Choose Digitize To Be Ready For The Future

Choosing Digitize as your partner means working with a manufacturer that is constantly looking for ways to future-proof and modernize proprietary alarm monitoring equipment. It also means that you will gain:

  1. Unlimited scalability
  2. Constant upgrades that improve your system
  3. Legacy mediation to bring your obsolete network back to life
  4. A customizable solution that fits your unique organizational needs and scales as you grow.

We are in an industry where seconds cost money and lives. With potential ChatGPT integration in the coming years among many other technology upgrades, Digitize is constantly looking to keep up with current times and integrate with the future.

At Digitize, we want you to treat us like your very own engineer. Do you have:

  • Form factor restraints
  • Legacy equipment that you can't just throw out
  • Scalability issues
  • A need for redundancy and dual-redundancy

If so, then contact me today. Even if we can't find a compromise to work together, I will do my best to point you in the right direction.

Call 1-800-523-7232. You can also email us at info@digitize-inc.com

Ziad Alezabi

Ziad Alezabi

Ziad Alezabi is a seasoned marketing writer renowned for his expertise in crafting compelling content and strategic marketing communications. With a rich background in the industry, Ziad has contributed significantly to various projects, delivering engaging blog articles, impactful videos, and...Read More