Does a Fire Alarm Need To Be Monitored?
Posted: 18/08/2022
5 minute read
How are fire alarms monitored? - What is the process? Surrey Tech Services
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Does a Fire Alarm Need To Be Monitored?

Fires devastate countless businesses each year. Even if a building isn’t completely destroyed, operations will likely be impacted to the point where the business may no longer be economically viable. 

That’s why fire alarms are a legal requirement as set out in The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Not only do they help to protect lives, but they can also help to save a business from financial ruin. There are many different fire alarm systems on the market, each with its own benefits that a commercial property could benefit from, but this month we’re going to look at monitored fire alarms in detail.


What is a monitored fire alarm?

A monitored alarm is, in the simplest terms, a more rapid way to alert the authorities to a fire in your building. This is because of a dedicated ARC (alarm receiving centre) that constantly monitors your systems and is alerted when the alarm is triggered. 

Your alarm system will be connected via a landline or 3G/4G network so that it can send a signal to a third party at any time of the day or night. This third-party monitoring of your alarm system isn’t a required feature, but has many benefits, which we’ll lay out in more detail later in this piece. 


How are fire alarms monitored?

Looking for more detail on how exactly a monitored fire alarm works? Here’s a simple, four-stage process:

  1. The alarm is triggered by smoke or heat from a fire
  2. Your monitored fire alarm will then send the signal to your dedicated ARC
  3. The ARC notifies the fire brigade and specified keyholders
  4. The fire brigade attends the site of the fire

How are fire alarms monitored? - What is the process? Surrey Tech Services

It really is as simple as that. But while this might seem like a given, not all fire alarm systems alert a third party, meaning that if your premises are left unattended (a common theme at night for most businesses) then the traditional alarm ringing out may not be heard at all. Even if someone nearby does hear the alarm, will they know that it’s a genuine emergency and call the authorities or ignore it until they can visibly see smoke and fire raging? The quick response you get from a monitored fire alarm is what makes it so appealing for so many businesses.


Where are monitored fire alarms most useful?

By now, you’ve probably already started to get an impression of when and where monitored fire alarms are most useful. Here are some of the types of situations where a monitored fire alarm can be a game changer:

  • When a building is left empty. This can be day or night, but if there is no one working between certain hours, your premises are vulnerable.
  • When there are vulnerable occupants. This can include the elderly or those with disabilities who may not be able to react quickly enough or raise the alarm in the event of a fire.
  • Where a building has multiple floors with some left unoccupied. There’s no guarantee someone on a lower floor will be aware of a fire, delaying the raising of the alarm.
  • Where noise levels within a building or warehouse might hamper someone from hearing an ordinary alarm sounding, delaying them contacting the authorities. A swift reaction from the fire brigade can help to save lives in these instances.


5 reasons you should invest in a monitored fire alarm

Now that you know how they work and where they’re most applicable, what are the real benefits of a monitored fire alarm for your commercial premises? Here are our top five reasons to invest in a monitored fire alarm:

  1. You can save lives – A rapid response means anyone in your building unaware of the fire stands a greater chance of being rescued
  2. You get constant protection for your premises – 24 hours a day, you know the alarm will be raised if a fire occurs 
  3. A rapid response is guaranteed – The ARC alerting the fire brigade means there’s no delay and more of your business could be saved
  4. You save money – If a fire happened at your site during the night, could your business survive?
  5. It troubleshoots your alarm – If the system reports a fault, you can be notified to allow for repairs so that it’s ready for an emergency with false alarms kept to a minimum


If you’d like to have all of the above benefits for your business when it comes to protecting against fire, then contact our experienced team here at Surrey Tech Services Ltd today. 

Call us now and we’ll be happy to book an appointment and design a monitored fire alarm system to suit your premises wherever you are in London and the Home Counties – including Maidenhead, Guildford and Slough.

    Protect your business premises today

    Call us now on 08081 689 497 to find out more about our fire alarm design, installation and maintenance services.