If you have a commercial fire alarm system protecting your business, it is likely that you are aware of the ongoing expense of paying for two telephone lines for monitoring that system. The National Fire Alarm Code requires a dedicated primary telephone line and a backup telephone line (which can be shared) for all monitored commercial fire alarm systems that use telephone lines for communication. The monthly phone bills can get expensive!
The good news is that there is a new alternative communication option that can completely eliminate the need for two telephone lines for commercial fire alarm systems. The National Fire Alarm Code allows for the use of alternative communication technologies as long as they meet certain criteria.
Fire alarm system manufacturers like Honeywell have recognized the need for these alternative technologies and have begun providing new fire alarm system communicators that do not require telephone lines. One product that can help is the Honeywell IPGSM-DP which is a dual-path communicator that can use a combination of your Internet connection and a GSM wireless (cellular) connection or which can use GSM wireless alone to satisfy the Fire Alarm Code requirements.
This device (pictured below) can help you to significantly reduce your telecommunications expenses related to monitoring commercial fire alarm systems. The other big benefit is that these units are supervised more often than a system using traditional telephone lines. What does that mean? In a traditional fire alarm system using telephone lines for communication, the fire alarm control panel dials into the monitoring center once every 24 hours to check the integrity of the communications path. When using GSM wireless as the only path for communication, the integrity is checked every five minutes. So, you would know much more quickly if there is a problem with the communication of your fire alarm system.
So, there are several benefits to using a new technology for fire alarm communication. If you have any questions about these new technologies, please let us know.
-Scott Hightower, Verified Security