What are the general standards for central station monitoring of fire alarms?

August 9, 2023

by Nils Deacon, Manager, Inspections and Rating Services

Initial alert and warning of occupants in a building of possible fire or other hazard is the first line of security. This is provided by detectors and other local alarms. The next step is the signaling or reporting of the incident to the first responders who can provide aid.

NFPA 72, the National Fire Alarm & Signaling Code, provides specific guidelines for fire alarm monitoring.

This is accomplished with monitoring of the distress signal by a central station or other monitoring service, such as a fire and police central dispatch. The reliability of the central station system is very important.

Equipment must be listed and properly installed. Alarm lines must be constantly monitored so that trouble with line signals would be responded to quickly. Alarm signals must be transmitted to the local fire department without delay. Additionally, there is to be a system of record keeping with signal recording.

DISCLAIMER: This information reflects the interpretation of MSO, Inc. with regard to NFPA Standards and Codes. It does not represent NFPA’s official position on the items discussed.

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