EMS Article in November 2014 PSI Magazine

wccDoes remote alarm management via a smartphone or tablet actually pose any threats to security if it’s not done properly? Do you have any concerns regarding such services?

As we move into a more technological world, greater emphasis is put on the flow and detail of information. If we go back say ten years,  security and fire systems were still very much as they had been in previous years. Yes, we had remote monitoring pretty much mandated for security to enable police response but fire was, and still is, rarely connected to any such service.

Remote monitoring allows Alarm Receiving Centres to act upon alarm activations Security systems are well ahead with confirmed technology but fire is still defining how to remotely identify a confirmed fire situation. This is exacerbated by the differing operating parameters of Fire & Rescue Services who react differently to automatic fire detection system activations.  We have seen advances in the security world where remote services have been introduced, and remote servicing accepted, allowing more interaction with a customer’s system.

As we move forward it’s only natural that owners of a system want to be in on the information available now that technology can provide more detail. Why would a building owner or manager not want to be informed that his fire system has activated? Apart from the obvious, i.e. the building may be on fire, plans to ensure business continuity can be implemented; systems backed up and staff perhaps mobilised to other locations to “move” the business should the worst occur.

Thinking ahead, as systems become even more connected the sending of information to tablets/smartphones or phablets, which seems to be the new terminology as technology converges, why would you not want to have regular updates on the health of your system, details on maintenance carried out or even information on services connected to your security/fire system?

As always the criteria will be to ensure this is done properly and securely and without compromising the integrity of the system and the protection it provides.

After all “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” (Benjamin Franklin)