How to Expand Your Fire Alarm Sales by Selling Proprietary Alarm Monitoring Systems

By Andrew Erickson

December 5, 2023

What if your customers love your product lineup, but central stations sour the deal

As a fire alarm systems integrator that sells and/or services fire alarm systems, you probably offer a great product lineup. You might sell sprinklers and sprinkler systems, fire extinguishers, fire alarm control panels, etc.

A problem you have likely seen, however, is that not all of your customers will be open to the idea of a central station. Some customers don’t want to be "one customer out of a thousand others" at a central station. People want to feel like they are a priority and avoid certain network security risks. 

Why do customers sometimes fear central stations?

Clients are frequently deterred by the idea of a central station due to these key factors:

  1. Fire alarm systems protect the livelihoods and safety of both people and assets. How can you then trust something as critical as fire alarm detection to the hands of somebody else? Instead, your customers can install a proprietary monitoring system on-premises. They'll have peace of mind that they are in charge of their own safety and security.
  2. With central station service, you are paying a recurring fee. That's true even when there are no problems or security risks. With a proprietary fire alarm system, your customer will love the idea of eliminating endless recurring fees in favor of a one-time purchase.
  3. Some customers operate on closed networks that protect sensitive data. Opening up their networks to long-distance communication over the internet to a central station is understandably a "non-starter" from a security perspective. You must provide a different option, which can only be an on-premises proprietary system.

What makes a "good" proprietary monitoring system good?

Your customers are looking for security, safety, and speed for their fire protection. You know now that a proprietary monitoring system is what you need – but what makes a good proprietary system?

A good proprietary system comes with great support from the manufacturers. It also means that you get adequate tech support directly from the manufacturer to your end user, cutting out the legwork and headaches on your end completely. 

You don’t want to sell equipment that you won’t know how to service later. At best, that's extra work required from you. People choose central stations because of their convenience.

Even though we're choosing a proprietary system for the reasons we discussed above, we don't want that choice to create extra support headaches if we can avoid them. Choosing the right system from a supportive manufacturer is the right solution here.

How can you and your clients save money with proprietary alarm monitoring?

In-house systems come with many perks like cost control. Good proprietary fire alarm system manufacturers will provide you and your client with training, putting both of you fully in charge of your destinies.

While "class" sounds like a hassle – it’s actually a huge money saver. When you have well-trained in-house responders, you can respond promptly to any problems before they get more expensive.

Proprietary monitoring systems give you flexibility

Your fire alarm monitoring system should be flexibly tailored to your client’s specific preferences and situations. For example, they may have a property layout that requires special size restrictions. They may be in a region that requires them to withstand certain weather conditions.

Unless you sell to new building developers, your customers will have their own fire alarm systems. They would much rather opt for a solution that allows them to integrate a system into their existing one. They don't want to rip out what they’re already working with and have already paid for. They don't want the hassle of starting from scratch.

A flexible proprietary system helps you match client requirements, including integrating with what they already have.

Proprietary monitoring systems will also give you familiarity & faster response times

There is a learning curve with everything, but good training and good documentation make it easier. Over time, you and your team will become familiar with your chosen monitoring equipment brand.

Whenever a problem arises, you'll go on-site and be ready to fix the problem. You'll be familiar with the equipment. You'll prevent problems before they get too big and damage other equipment or lead to hazardous conditions. 

Digitize gives you a flexible system, complete training, and helps you keep your customers coming back for more

At Digitize, we offer you not only our product but years of experience (since 1977!). That experience was earned by designing and manufacturing in-house – equipping us to help you on all fronts. This includes:

  1. We fully manufacture our own products in the USA.
  2. This additionally means that we write fully detailed manuals about how to use our products.
  3. We train you to support your customers via training on how to use our monitoring systems. Your customers are also welcome to attend training if you like.
  4. We offer free tech support to every client who has our products.
  5. Do you have a tricky project? Use us as your own personal engineers. We can meet your parameters. 

At Digitize, we have a team of both Device Engineers and Sales Engineers with years of experience that will be available to help you first hand with any requests or questions. Take for example:

Jim Sutton, our head of Design Engineering at Digitize has this to say about the System 3505 Prism LX, our proprietary fire alarm monitoring system master console:

Our equipment is going to be tied to an existing fire panel that's actually going to be monitoring those sprinklers and fire pull-hooks and heat detectors and smoke detectors. We're going to take information from that panel via our MuxPad and transmit it back to the System 3505 Prism LX at the head end.

Our niche is being able to take a campus or Air Force base or some other government facility with multiple buildings and be able to tie all of their pre-existing fire panels so that they can remote signal back to their fire department. This can be accomplished without having to remove and replace all of the fire panels.

-Jim Sutton
Digitize Engineering

Our head of Sales Engineering, John Ermatinger says:

At Digitize, we can mix-and-match many different kinds of inputs and systems based on client needs. We also cover a wide range of systems, from the old telegraph coded systems that are still in operation. It's a large number. There are many in New England, and military bases around the world.

We can use that to bring data back to clients at their centralized locations. Most clients have their own central-station monitoring (a central monitoring system), where they can collect alarms from their fire panels. We can do that, and more, because we're compatible with other devices out in the field.

-John Ermatinger
Digitize Engineering

How Digitize & the System 3505 Prism LX will enhance your offering

The System 3505 Prism LX is a central alarm monitoring system that uses monitor the inputs of all connected fire panels.

Prism LX is a trusted solution because:

  • Ease of use: Prism LX has multiple features that enable it to fit many users' needs. It offers Text-to-Message features, enabling you to receive both SMS and voice-recorded notifications straight to both your phone and to other authorized personnel. The messages you receive are fully customizable by you, enabling anybody in-house to understand the emergency.
  • Efficiency: The Prism LX has low power consumption due to no fans.
  • Customization: At Digitize, we want you to treat us like your trusted expert engineer. You should treat our products with the same expectations. The Prism LX is a very malleable monitoring system that can be changed based on your customer's required application. 
  • Migration: Are your required to maintain older systems? No problem! We allow you to build and operate new systems & solutions while migrating from your older system.
  • Experts At Your Service: You will have experts such as Jim Sutton and John Ermatinger, among many more, at your disposal. They will be able to support you and train your own employees to be experts at our solutions and devices.
  • Cost efficiency: At Digitize, we do everything in-house. All of our core products like Prism LX and the DGM are made in the USA. Having us on your team can be the difference between replacing a whole system due to a discontinued piece of equipment or seamlessly integrating a perfect-fit solution. You'll do this by having Digitize customize equipment that integrates with your customer's existing legacy equipment.

Call Digitize now to sign up as a distributor

As a distributor, you can access all of our products and services with a distributor discount. We value our partnerships with distributors. We're committed to providing the best support and training possible for your team.

Join the Digitize family today and enhance your offerings to your customers with the System 3505 Prism LX and other Digitize solutions.

Call Digitize now at 1-800-523-7232 or email

Andrew Erickson

Andrew Erickson

Andrew Erickson is an Application Engineer at DPS Telecom, a manufacturer of semi-custom remote alarm monitoring systems based in Fresno, California. Andrew brings more than 17 years of experience building site monitoring solutions, developing intuitive user interfaces and documentation, and...Read More