News Updates
Security Alarms of America
© Net Marketing Dynamix. 2012  Call for Marketing solutions 573-803-7505
News Updates  
     573-334-8080
When it matters the most!                                              Now is the time to act! Security is Every Minute of the Day...Call NOW 573-334-8080
Do I Need A UL or ULC Listed Alarm Company? If you are shopping around for a home security system, you may have heard of Underwriters Laboratories® (UL, or ULC in Canada), and their "central station safety certificate".  Most alarm companies will go out of their way to let you know that their company is "UL Listed" or "UL Approved".  But what is Underwriters Laboratories®, and how does a UL listed alarm company compare with a non-listed one?  Does it really matter if your company is UL listed or not? Home Security Reviews And Resources. Alarm Basics | Articles | System Design | Device Types | Reviews | Crime Prevention Tips | Evaluation | Security Cameras What Is UL or ULC? UL (Underwriters Laboratories®) is a non-profit product safety certification organization that has been testing products and writing safety standards for more than one hundred years.  UL began as a group of insurance companies testing fire-rated building materials, but have since expanded to test massive numbers of products and services around the world.  In Canada, the organization is known as Underwriters Laboratories® of Canada, or ULC. Inspections, Training, and Auditing: To be listed, each alarm company must first agree to an on-site inspection of their monitoring station.  The inspection primarily concentrates on the monitoring equipment being used, construction of the facility (e.g. fire- proof walls, location of the monitoring station inside the facility), and the station's power supply (e.g. power room must be secure, and there must be a back up power supply).  One of the bigger requirements of the certification is that the monitoring station must be dedicated to alarm monitoring only.  Some alarm company owners also run answering services, so staff members will have something more to do than responding to alarms or helping customers test their systems.  This makes economic sense to the owner, but distracted monitoring staff would probably be an issue to the average consumer (if they were aware of it).  Location of the station is also important: it must be protected by a minimum of two fire-rated security doors, and NOT located on the ground floor, or any room with outside windows. Certified companies must also agree to inspections of a select number of their alarm installations, to ensure they meet or exceed UL standards. The final requirement of a listing is training in UL procedures and standards for monitoring staff and installers.  This training is provided by UL and paid for through membership fees. Membership fees also enable UL to perform random audits of installations and monitoring stations to ensure compliance. Home Insurance, Business Owners, And UL: To qualify for a discount on home insurance, many insurance companies will insist that a) your system is indeed being monitored, and b) your alarm company has a UL listing.  Many business owners (especially high-end retail) may also find their insurance company insisting on UL approved monitoring and installations. Our Opinion On UL Listed Alarm Companies: Many years ago, when I began my career in the security industry, I worked for a local alarm company who had a non-UL approved monitoring station.  I asked my boss why we were not UL approved, as it seemed to be an issue with certain consumers.  He said the certification is just an excuse by UL to collect thousands of dollars a year in fees, and his customers were perfectly happy with their monitoring service.  "If a customer asks about UL in the future", he said, "just tell them the equipment we install is UL-approved and make no mention of the monitoring station".  This really wouldn't be a lie on my part, because most alarm equipment is UL-approved (just look on the back of any motion sensor, keypad, etc and look for the UL logo).  I never ended up using this tactic, as I considered it unethical.  Despite our monitoring station's lack of certification, most of my clients were very happy with the system and monitoring they invested in.  My company had a great reputation, and I had many referred leads come in from present and former customers. So are we saying that a UL listing is not necessary?  Not exactly.  Although my company did well without it, there is no way of knowing if your potential alarm company would meet the same high standards without certification.  If your station is certified, at least you know they meet (or exceed) safety and security standards as defined by UL.  For these reasons, we definitely recommend that your alarm company be UL or ULC approved.
News Updates
Security Alarms of America
When it matters the most!                                              Now is the time to act! Security is Every Minute of the Day...Call NOW 573-334-8080
Do I Need A UL or ULC Listed Alarm Company? If you are shopping around for a home security system, you may have heard of Underwriters Laboratories® (UL, or ULC in Canada), and their "central station safety certificate".  Most alarm companies will go out of their way to let you know that their company is "UL Listed" or "UL Approved".  But what is Underwriters Laboratories®, and how does a UL listed alarm company compare with a non-listed one?  Does it really matter if your company is UL listed or not? Home Security Reviews And Resources. Alarm Basics | Articles | System Design | Device Types | Reviews | Crime Prevention Tips | Evaluation | Security Cameras What Is UL or ULC? UL (Underwriters Laboratories®) is a non-profit product safety certification organization that has been testing products and writing safety standards for more than one hundred years.  UL began as a group of insurance companies testing fire-rated building materials, but have since expanded to test massive numbers of products and services around the world.  In Canada, the organization is known as Underwriters Laboratories® of Canada, or ULC. Inspections, Training, and Auditing: To be listed, each alarm company must first agree to an on-site inspection of their monitoring station.  The inspection primarily concentrates on the monitoring equipment being used, construction of the facility (e.g. fire-proof walls, location of the monitoring station inside the facility), and the station's power supply (e.g. power room must be secure, and there must be a back up power supply).  One of the bigger requirements of the certification is that the monitoring station must be dedicated to alarm monitoring only.  Some alarm company owners also run answering services, so staff members will have something more to do than responding to alarms or helping customers test their systems.  This makes economic sense to the owner, but distracted monitoring staff would probably be an issue to the average consumer (if they were aware of it).  Location of the station is also important: it must be protected by a minimum of two fire-rated security doors, and NOT located on the ground floor, or any room with outside windows. Certified companies must also agree to inspections of a select number of their alarm installations, to ensure they meet or exceed UL standards. The final requirement of a listing is training in UL procedures and standards for monitoring staff and installers.  This training is provided by UL and paid for through membership fees. Membership fees also enable UL to perform random audits of installations and monitoring stations to ensure compliance. Home Insurance, Business Owners, And UL: To qualify for a discount on home insurance, many insurance companies will insist that a) your system is indeed being monitored, and b) your alarm company has a UL listing.  Many business owners (especially high-end retail) may also find their insurance company insisting on UL approved monitoring and installations. Our Opinion On UL Listed Alarm Companies: Many years ago, when I began my career in the security industry, I worked for a local alarm company who had a non-UL approved monitoring station.  I asked my boss why we were not UL approved, as it seemed to be an issue with certain consumers.  He said the certification is just an excuse by UL to collect thousands of dollars a year in fees, and his customers were perfectly happy with their monitoring service.  "If a customer asks about UL in the future", he said, "just tell them the equipment we install is UL-approved and make no mention of the monitoring station".  This really wouldn't be a lie on my part, because most alarm equipment is UL-approved (just look on the back of any motion sensor, keypad, etc and look for the UL logo).  I never ended up using this tactic, as I considered it unethical.  Despite our monitoring station's lack of certification, most of my clients were very happy with the system and monitoring they invested in.  My company had a great reputation, and I had many referred leads come in from present and former customers. So are we saying that a UL listing is not necessary?  Not exactly.  Although my company did well without it, there is no way of knowing if your potential alarm company would meet the same high standards without certification.  If your station is certified, at least you know they meet (or exceed) safety and security standards as defined by UL.  For these reasons, we definitely recommend that your alarm company be UL or ULC approved.
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© Net Marketing Dynamix. 2012  Call for Marketing solutions 573-803-7505