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Next Generation Monitoring Systems

Posted on: August 24, 2020

As COVID-19 continues to be a concern in the Pacific Northwest and across much of the country, it is crucial now — more than ever before — that your building’s monitoring systems are up to date, maintained, and in compliance.

Whether your facilities are vacant, or bustling with activity, your monitoring system is the sentinel that protects your building 24/7, 365 days a year.

However, if your monitoring system relies on old technology such as phone lines or cellular networks, it may fail, leaving you and your company vulnerable.

Today, older systems can’t keep up with the amount of data being sent and received over fiber. Further, more and more Authority Having Jurisdictions (AHJs), are adapting new monitoring tech and changing the code to disqualify systems running on phone lines.

No matter if you are a building chief, estimator, or facilities manager, you should strongly consider upgrading to AES radios. Fast and reliable, AES radios are designed to never go obsolete. And, the more subscribers with radios in the area, the stronger the system — multiple radios create an expansive mesh.

The simple fact is that public communication infrastructures and telephone/cellular based solutions are outmatched by AES radios’ superior reliability, performance, and scalability.

What is an AES radio?

Founded in 1974, AES Corporation is the leading manufacturer of long-range wireless communication systems. Depending on your facilities, AES offers a variety of products for fire and life safety applications.

The AES Intellinet 2.0 Fire Unit has many advanced benefits including a smartphone GUI, flexible power options, LCD screen on the panel, notification LEDs, and more.

Here is a basic rundown of how this groundbreaking technology works:

  1. Each AES smart subscriber installed in any building acts as a receiver, transmitter, and repeater.
  2. Each AES smart subscriber connects to a central alarm receiving center that uses its own designated frequency.
  3. The result is a licensed, private, mesh network that is entirely owner operated and controlled.

AES Intellinet patented wireless mesh radios are rigorously tested, fault tolerant, practically 100% efficient, and meet UL and The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards.

How does a monitoring system work?

When an event occurs, you need an immediate response. The ideal monitoring system sends an instant notification to your fire and life safety service provider whenever an alarm/sensor is tripped. However, if your system is based on old technology, notification may be delayed or withheld.

A fully functioning monitoring system based on AES radio technology can monitor non-alarm related items such as freezer alarms, sump pumps, generator activations or anything with form C contacts, and will provide swift notice for a range of events, including:

  • Fire alarm — A fire alarm signal is sent if smoke or fire detection devices are tripped.
  • Power failure — When a power failure occurs, a signal is sent indicating the event and status so that backup power may be used for fire and life safety systems.
  • Sprinkler systems — If your sprinklers are faulty or tampered with, a signal will be sent to your service provider.
  • Fire trouble — A fire trouble signal may indicate that maintenance is needed for one or more of your fire protection devices.
  • Low battery — If your alarm system’s battery is underperforming, a low battery signal will be sent to your service provider indicating that a replacement is needed.
  • Security issues and panic buttons —  A working security alarm or panic button can mean the difference between life and death.

Resolving any crisis requires 3 steps: 1) Detect 2) Inform 3) React. A functioning monitoring system based on AES technology is designed specifically to carry out these tasks.

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Determining when to replace your monitoring system

Fire and life safety systems are only as strong as their weakest link. If your monitoring system is out-of-date, it could compromise your building’s entire emergency response protocols. The best way to find out if your monitoring equipment needs to be upgraded is to contact a reputable fire and life safety service provider.

If your monitoring system relies on phone lines — you’re on borrowed time. As communications technology improves, traditional phonelines are quickly being phased out.

Fire and life safety codes and regulations are now requiring that such systems be replaced or upgraded. And many AHJs simply do not allow phoneline-based monitoring systems on new projects.

To determine if your monitoring system should be updated to AES radio technology, you must answer these questions:

  • Is your monitoring system based on traditional phone-lines?
  • Does your monitoring system rely on cellular technology?
  • If your monitoring system relies on cellular technology, is the frequency band (2G, 3G, 4G, etc.) still in use?
  • What type of frequency are your backups using?

Emergencies must be handled in a fast, efficient, and effective manner. Outdated monitoring systems aren’t just about being code compliant — they lack the technology to transfer and receive large amounts of data. This results in “bad data” and malfunctioning monitoring systems. And if your monitoring system fails to detect and notify, your building’s emergency response may collapse.

Performance Systems Integration: The most trusted name in emergency monitoring for businesses throughout the Pacific Northwest

For almost 20 years, Performance Systems Integration (PSI) has provided unparalleled fire and life safety services to schools, property management, hotels, hospitals, and other businesses throughout Oregon and Washington.

Our NICET-certified technicians are experienced in installing and using the latest tech in the industry, including AES Intellinet 2.0 radio technology.

We partner with the top tech communication companies in the industry to provide our clients with 24/7 alarm monitoring coverage. As a single-point-of-management for fire and life safety systems, we also provide: inspection and testing, service and repairs, and system designs and installations.

For more information about our services, or to schedule a free life safety and code compliance analysis in the Pacific Northwest, call our Oregon/SW Washington Office at (503) 512-5812, or our Washington State Office at (425) 947-1149, or contact us online.

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