By Denise Pappas, Executive Director
As temperatures begin to drop, I make a mental note of all the things I need to do to get ready for winter – fall cleaning, raking leaves, and winterizing the car. And, one of the most important things I do in the fall is change the batteries in our home smoke detectors.
That got me to thinking of what fire and life safety managers need to do to be sure that their fire alarm management systems are up-to-date and properly maintained for the winter season and into next year.
Has it been awhile since you have looked at your existing fire alarm management equipment as a total solution? Has your facility grown to require more information that you now get from your fire and life safety detectors and devices? Maybe you get too many false alarms or late-night calls and have been meaning to find a way to update and streamline your systems.
There are three major issues that, without updates and sufficient maintenance can contribute to less-than-ideal monitoring, dispatching and reporting of fire alarms at your facility. If you can identify with any of these situations, perhaps it’s time to upgrade or retrofit your systems.
Many campuses and multi-building facilities have a variety of brands and models of fire alarm control panels that either transmit signals to more than one receiving system or provide limited point ID information or none at all. While Keltron does not manufacture fire alarm control panels, we provide interfaces to 99% of them, enabling our customers to view all of their information in a single system.
Telephone lines and other older signaling technologies are becoming increasingly unreliable from both age and wear. Many are no longer code compliant as primary signaling systems. Keltron’s systems’ ability to receive data from more than one communications technology enables our customers to migrate from old technologies to more modern, faster and more reliable Ethernet/IP, radio, or cellular.
And then there is the dispatcher experience; these essential and very busy staff members must often look at multiple monitors with limited information, resulting in slowdowns, frustration, and burnout. With Keltron’s systems, the dispatcher can focus on one screen with a consistent look and feel in a single view for all incoming alarms, giving the dispatcher detailed information on how to respond to the alarm each and every time. This results in reduced operator overload, improved accuracy and easy training with a system optimized to on-site multi-building alarm monitoring.
Upgrading with Keltron’s solutions offers a multitude of benefits including improved situational awareness, faster and more accurate dispatch and response, efficient use of existing equipment and resources, and just more peace of mind.
Whether you are thinking about retrofitting or upgrading your fire alarm monitoring systems to Keltron, visit our website at www.keltroncorp.com or call us at 781-894-8710. We’re here to help you with your fall “to do” list!
Lisa Korklan, VP of Marketing
Many multi-building facilities and campuses still use old, inefficient technology for monitoring and dispatching their fire alarms. Master alarm panels from their fire alarm control panel (FACP) manufacturers often consist of a board that lights up or presents an alarm code. These codes or lights require dispatchers to figure out the type of alarm, where the initiating device is, and what they should do about it. Not the most accurate or fastest method to manage essential life safety programs.
More sophisticated alarm automation software made for commercial central alarm monitoring stations does not easily adapt to the needs of on-site campus and multi-building facility alarm monitoring. This is particularly true for college or healthcare campuses and military or industrial facilities where risks are high and on-site knowledge of a life safety incident is most critical.
Technologically-advanced, software-based, alarm management systems provide an optimal solution. These systems offer single-view screens that are easy to use and easy to learn, enabling dispatchers and administrators to become proficient faster and improving the accuracy of the response. Instead of only indicating the building where the alarm is, software alarm management systems can pinpoint the exact location of the initiating device and display the information in plain English along with the specific instructions for handling the event. This substantially enhances the efficiency of event response.
To further minimize the time spent by dispatchers on resolving an event, these systems automate necessary services such as history reporting, stakeholder notification, email and text reminders. With the increasing need for dispatchers and administrators to operate and oversee multiple building systems, harnessing new technology can reduce stress, improve event response, and potentially save lives and property.