InsideUp Office Security Sourcing Blog
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Commercial Security & Alarm Services-How the Monitoring Station Works

Sep 26, 2011

By:  InsideUp

To make an informed purchasing decision it’s vital that you understand the role of the central monitoring station. This is the part of your commercial security system that actually does the work of protecting your establishment.

The commercial security system’s control panel, which is connected to the phone lines, will be programmed with information regarding your business location and other important details. When an intrusion is detected and the alarm system is tripped, the control panel will relay all the relevant information to the central monitoring station. Within ten seconds, the central station will contact your office, either by phone or, if you have dual-communication monitoring, by speaking directly through the security keypad intercom.


If security personnel reach a live person they will confirm this person’s authorization by asking for their pass-code. If they receive no answer, or an incorrect pass-code is given, the central station will immediately alert the authorities. They will then contact a designated key-holder, someone within the company who will determine whether a break-in has occurred.

Internally managed central stations are required to alert authorities within forty-five seconds whenever the alarm goes off. They are also required to have a reliable backup power source in place. This can be either a second station or a backup generator with ten to fifteen days of reserve power.

Your company’s central monitoring station may be located outside your state, but this should not pose a problem. However, you will want to find out how the station operates and how they will be monitoring your alarm system.

Most monitored burglar alarm systems provide the option of having 24-hour backup that commences whenever your phone lines are down. A cellular or radio system will transmit a signal to the central monitoring station when a phone line is dropped.

In the event that all electrical power is lost, a backup battery will activate to keep your alarm in service. If your organization relies on Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone service, having a backup system is vital. Since VoIP technology is governed by different standards than traditional phone systems, most alarm systems will require a backup system to transmit the monitored signal via VoIP.