Why Monitored Fire Equipment Works


Greetings.  Following up on Why Monitored Fire Equipment Works a couple of weeks ago, I’d like to share How Monitored Fired Equipment works.

By National Fire Code, all commercial and residential fire equipment designed to detect “particulates” uses either radiative chamber analysis, photo electric analysis or energy beams for large and possibly very dusty or dirty environments.  The most used is photo electric.  It does the most reliable and affordable detection.  All three methods of detection result in the monitored circuit going CLOSED on detection.  The alarm proceeds from that event.  Fire equipment includes communicators (telephone line) or cellular based.  Both are supervised to ensure that the equipment is self-testing and ready 100% of the time.  Once an alarm happens, the communicator contacts the Central Station where the data is converted into an Alarm Event and Dispatched by Central Station Operators.  Typically, the time from initial discovery to dispatch is measured in seconds.  Data records are kept on location within the equipment, at the Central Station and at the Local 911 Center that broadcasts the alarm to waiting Fire Departments.

Knowing more about how the equipment and procedures operate makes clearer why losses are reduced or eliminated.  In my first post we looked “back in time”, after a total loss, to learn if it could have been prevented or mitigated.  Monitored Fire Systems are not only very effective, but they also come at such a small fraction of the risk value as to make them a “no brainer”.

Next time we’ll look at the Audible Response of Fire Alarm Systems.

Your thoughts and comments are always welcome.


Tom Kunkel – 10/05/2016

I manage Access Security, Inc. and Access Monitoring, Inc.  We serve Washington State Counties: Thurston, Lewis, Grays Harbor, Pacific, Cowlitz and Clark.  We have been installing and servicing Honeywell Intrusion Equipment since 1989.

Consider that your home or business had a small, undiscovered, fire that grew out of control.  The entire structure was lost as well as all the contents, furniture and treasures.  Assume we’ve known each other for a long time.  Now, walk with me down the road into the future.  You turn and look back at the mess where your building and life once thrived.  The burn smell still fills the air.

You ask, “Tom, did I miss something?  Was there anything that I could or should have done to prevent this awful fire?”  “Sure, I say”, trying not to sound like I told you so, “Friend, the cost of monitored fire protection is literally pennies per day.  Not only that, savings on insurance can be as much as 20% annually.  If you had it to do again, I’m sure you would have taken action before you became a victim.”

Your thoughts and comments welcome.

Look for the next edition of WHY MONITORED FIRE ?…coming soon.