STA 1 Guide

STA 1 Guide
April 1996
Reviewed 1998, revised 2010
Prepared and Submitted by CSAA Standards Committee © CSAA 1996

The document shall serve as a guide. It has been derived from several documents but of itself does not constitute a standard. The reader is referred to Underwriters Laboratories, NFPA and CSAA Standards.


Table of Contents


1. Terms Used in This Guide

Terms used throughout this standard are defined in the separately published and available CSAA Glossary of Terms.


2. Central Station Burglar Alarm Systems

2.1 System Components. Systems shall consist of components that are listed by, and installed in accordance with, UL Standards wherever appropriate UL classifications apply.

2.2 Initial User Training. The user shall be provided with appropriate training in the correct use of the system upon completion of the installation. Adequate written user instruction information shall be provided.

2.3 On-going User Training. On-going user assistance and training services shall be offered by the monitoring facility or by the serving alarm company.

2.4 Alternate Power. Any system components that require electrical power for their operation shall be provided with sufficient secondary power to operate for not less than four (4) hours during periods when primary power is interrupted. The secondary power system shall prevent false alarms during switch-over to and from primary power. An alarm activation shall not occur when the secondary power source is no longer capable of operating the alarm system during periods of primary power failure. An alarm activation shall not occur when primary power is restored after the system has become inoperative due to depletion of secondary power.

2.5 Monitoring Facility Ratings. Facilities that monitor burglar alarm systems shall be listed by UL or other national rating organizations for Central Station Burglar Alarm service or Protective Signaling service, or the equivalent.

2.6 Annual Alarm System Record Review. Every monitored burglar alarm system record shall be reviewed at least once each year to verify that the system has sent a signal to the monitoring facility.

2.7 Verification Procedures. In order to minimize false alarms, the monitoring facility shall have established written verification and confirmation procedures, in conformance with the section for alarm verification, that are to be followed before the police are notified and requested to respond.


3. Alarm Verification and Notification Procedures 

3.1 General

3.1.1 Description.  Alarm Verification is the generic name given to many techniques used (1) to confirm or deny the validity of alarm signals received at the monitoring facility, and (2) to permit authorized personnel to appropriately identify them-selves, thereby preventing emergency response agencies from being requested to respond to situations that do not represent an emergency.

If differences exist between this standard and other arrangements with a user, the other arrangements shall take precedence.

Note: The term “Certificated UL Line Security”, as used in this document, refers to burglar alarm systems that are commonly called  “AA”, “BB”, or “CC” by UL and the alarm industry.

3.1.2 Types of Verification.   Two broad forms of verification may be employed either individually or in combination.  These include:

3.1.2.1 Electronic Verification. A coded electronic signal to the monitoring facility that indicates to its personnel or to its dispatch computer that no emergency exists.

3.1.2.2 Verbal. A personal contact by means of telephone or audio conversation with an authorized passcard holder for the protected premises to verify that no emergency exists.

3.2 Burglar Alarm Signals

3.2.1 Procedures for Alarm Signals Received from Systems without “Certificated UL Line Security”. Monitoring facility personnel shall promptly call the protected premises for personal identification and verification of person’s authorization to be on customer premises.

3.2.1.1. If No Contact. If there is no answer after a maximum of six (6) rings, the monitoring facility shall dispatch the police or other responding entity. If previously arranged, the monitoring facility shall call a passcard holder off-premises to determine if there is a reason not to dispatch.

3.2.1.2 If Telephone Is Answered. If the telephone is answered, the monitoring facility shall obtain pass code verification that the person is authorized to be on the premises. Upon receipt of correct identification as outlined in this paragraph, responding entities need not be dispatched or may be recalled and the alarm considered aborted. If no valid pass code is provided, the monitoring facility shall dispatch the police or other responding entity.

3.2.2 Procedures for Alarm Signals Received from Systems with “Certificated UL Line Security”. Monitoring facility personnel shall promptly call the protected premises for personal identification and verification of person’s authorization to be on customer premises.

3.2.2.1  If No Contact.  If there is no answer after a maximum of six (6) rings, the monitoring facility shall dispatch the police or other responding entity.

3.2.2.2  If Contact Is within Scheduled Opening and Closing Windows.  If the telephone is answered, the monitoring facility shall obtain pass code verification that the person is authorized to be on the premises and verify receipt of a cancel code.  If these conditions are met, no dispatch is required.  If no pass code is provided, if an invalid pass code is provided, or if a cancel code is not received, the monitoring facility shall dispatch the responding entities.

3.2.2.3  If Contact Relates to an Unscheduled Opening.  If the telephone is answered, the verification procedure shall provide for two different forms of identification to verify the authenticity of the person on the premises.  Such identification shall be different numbers or codes and may be both electronic or one electronic and one verbal, but in no event may both be verbal.  When the technology exists, one form of identification shall be biometric, such as a voice print, finger print, retina reader, or other equivalent technology.  Upon receipt of correct identifications as outlined in this paragraph, responding entities need not be dispatched or may be recalled and the alarm considered aborted.

3.2.3  Verification Time Frame.  Customer voice con-tact shall be achieved within one (1) minute of the time an operator takes a signal, and successful verification shall be achieved within three (3) minutes.

3.2.4  Updating Records. The monitoring facility shall update and confirm the list of authorized personnel and their pass codes at least annually.

3.2.5  User Training. The monitoring facility shall give the user written instructions describing (1) how the monitoring facility will react to the receipt of an alarm signal, and (2) the procedures the user can follow to prevent the police from being notified unnecessarily.

3.3 Hold-Up and Panic Alarm Signals

3.3.1 Commercial Hold-Up Alarm, Silent.  Unless otherwise noted, the monitoring facility shall not call the subscriber premises and shall dispatch the authorities.  When a dispatch is made, no person on the call list will be contacted.  A minimum of 20 minutes shall expire before any follow up is made.

3.3.2 Commercial Hold-Up Alarm, Audible.  Unless otherwise noted, the monitoring facility shall verify the signal by calling the subscriber premises.  If no contact is made or improper identification is given, the monitoring facility shall dispatch the authorities.  When a dispatch is made, no person on the call list will be contacted.  A minimum of 20 minutes shall expire before any follow up is made.

3.3.3 Residential Panic Alarm. Unless otherwise noted, the monitoring facility shall verify the signal by calling the sub-scriber premises.  If no contact is made or improper identification is given, the monitoring facility shall dispatch the authorities.  When a dispatch is made, no person on the call list will be contacted.  A minimum of 20 minutes shall expire before any follow up is made.

3.3.4  Miscellaneous.  Any manufacturer-developed modes of operation not defined within this standard shall be treated as one of the types of signals defined above in this section 3.3.


3.4  Fire Alarm Signals

3.4.1  Households. For purposes of this standard, “household” is defined (as NFPA #72 also defines this term [August 1993]) as the family living unit in single-family detached dwellings, single-family attached dwellings, multifamily buildings and mobile homes.  This definition excludes common usage areas in multifamily buildings such as corridors, lobbies, basements, etc.  Fire alarm systems covering such excluded areas are not “house-hold” fire alarm systems.  The primary purpose of fire alarm systems in households is to provide an audible signal to occupants in order to expedite evacuation of the unit.  (NFPA #72 section 2-1.2 states that “This code [Household Warning Equipment] is primarily concerned with life safety, not with the protection of property.  It presumes that the family has an exit plan.”)

3.4.1.1  If an alarm signal is received from a household fire alarm system that is not a system required to be monitored according to local building code, from (1) a single-family detached dwelling or a mobile home, (2) a single-family attached dwelling, or (3) a family living unit in a multifamily building in which the household alarm system is not part of the building’s fire alarm system serving areas other than the family-living-unit, then monitoring facility shall promptly call the protected premises.

3.4.1.2  If the telephone is not answered after a maxi-mum of six (6) rings, retransmit the alarm to the Public Fire Service Communication Center (PFSCC).

3.4.1.3  If the telephone is answered or someone calls from the protected property:

3.4.1.3.1  Ask if there is any reason to not request fire department response.

3.4.1.3.2  If no reason is given to withhold fire department response, retransmit to the PFSCC.

3.4.1.3.3  If it is requested that the fire department not be notified, resolve the incident with no further action when a reset signal is received.

3.4.1.4  If a reset signal is received before the monitoring facility has retransmitted the alarm to the PFSCC, respond as directed in 3.4.1.1 through 3.4.1.3.3 of this section.

3.4.1.5  If a reset signal is received after the alarm has been retransmitted to the PFSCC, the monitoring facility may at-tempt to update the PFSCC.

3.4.1.6  Notify a person on the emergency notification list.

3.4.2  All Properties other than Households, as de-fined in 3.4.1 above.  If an alarm is received, the monitoring facility shall immediately retransmit the alarm to the PFSCC.

3.4.2.1  If a call is received from the protected premises that indicates no emergency exists,the monitoring facility may advise the caller to contact the fire department directly and meet responding vehicles at the main entrance to the building.  The monitoring facility may also attempt to update the PFSCC.  If a reset signal is received after the alarm has been retransmitted to the PFSCC, the monitoring facility may attempt to update the PFSCC.

3.4.2.2  If the alarm system requires a manual reset, and the monitoring facility is contractually responsible to provide one-hour response service, a runner or technician shall be sent to the protected premises and shall arrive within one hour.

3.4.2.3  Notify a person on the emergency notification list.

3.4.2.4  If required, provide notice to the subscriber or the Authority Having Jurisdiction.

3.4.3  Prearranged Tests.  When an alarm results from a prearranged test, the signal shall be recorded but shall not be retransmitted to the PFSCC.  When notified that the tests have been concluded, the monitoring facility shall place the fire alarm system into full operating status and respond to all signals as de-scribed in this standard.  Compliance with 3.4.2.3 and 3.4.2.4 may be required after a prearranged test.

3.4.4  Trouble & Supervisory Signals.  Trouble and Supervisory signals are not considered to be alarm signals.

3.5  Emergency Medical Alarm (EMA) Signals

3.5.1  Central Station Response Procedures

3.5.1.1  When the monitoring facility receives an EMA signal, an operator shall telephone the subscriber to attempt to confirm that a problem exists.

3.5.1.2  If someone answers and confirms that an emergency exists and that he or she is able to call the emergency response agency directly, he or she shall be told to call that agency to get the best and fastest appropriate response.  The subscriber shall be told to unlock the front door to permit response personnel to enter the premises.  If an emergency response is needed, the monitoring facility may also notify the emergency response agency and provide appropriate information.

3.5.1.3  If the monitoring facility gets no answer within six (6) rings, then the monitoring facility shall attempt to notify a subscriber-authorized key holder to access the reporting location and determine what sort of problem exists.  If a true emergency exists, the key holder can call the emergency response agency, provide the appropriate information and admit responding personnel.

3.5.1.4  If the monitoring facility gets no answer from the subscriber and if the monitoring facility is unable to reach any of the EMA key holders, then the monitoring facility shall call the emergency response agency and request emergency response service, advising the emergency response agency what preliminary steps have been taken, or shall respond with private (monitoring facility or contract agency) personnel.

3.5.1.5  The most important information the monitoring facility can provide for the emergency response agency is the location of detailed medical information about the person who might be experiencing the emergency.  Such information can be posted on the subscriber’s refrigerator, bedside, or medicine chest.

3.5.1.6  The monitoring facility shall keep technical medical information provided to the emergency response agency as brief and specific as possible.  If very generic medical information is available, such as “heart patient” or “diabetic”, that information should be provided to the emergency response agency.  General, non-technical, medical information is less likely to be misunderstood or misinterpreted.

Note:  There is often no direct communication between the monitoring facility (or the calling individual) and paramedic personnel.  Most contacts are with emergency response agency call-takers, and medical data provided to them is, in turn, passed on to paramedics.  Communications between paramedics and their “handlers” (dispatchers and hospital medical support personnel) are generally verbal.  The more information that is provided verbally, the greater the chance for error to creep into the communication process.

3.5.1.7  If the EMA system requires a daily “activation procedure” to prevent an “inactivity alarm” transmission, the monitoring facility shall normally not notify the emergency response agency when such an “inactivity alarm” is received.  Rather, the monitoring facility shall attempt to contact one of the persons on the subscriber-authorized key holder list.

3.5.2  Sample Forms. The following forms contain the type of information that meets most requirements.  The specific wording and the data requested by each monitoring service provider should be developed by individual legal counsel.


4.  Alarm Investigator Response 

4.1 General.

If an alarm signal received at the monitoring facility is determined to warrant on-site response, and if contracted for, an alarm investigator shall be dispatched to investigate.
If differences exist between this standard and other arrangements with a user, the other arrangements shall take precedence.

4.2 Burglar Alarms

4.2.1 Timely Dispatch. Upon determination by the monitoring facility that an alarm response is warranted, and if contracted for, the monitoring facility shall immediately direct an alarm investigator, under normal circumstances, to respond to and report the cause of the alarm. The monitoring facility shall convey to the alarm investigator all pertinent information known about the protected premises, the alarm event and the location of the triggering sensor within the premises, if known.

4.2.2 Uniform. The alarm investigator shall be in uniform with cap or hat, whistle, night stick or other legal weapon, shall be identifiable as to affiliation with the employer, and shall be knowledgeable in the operation of alarm systems.

4.2.3 Personal Identification. The alarm investigator shall carry personal identification with the investigator name, photo, physical description, and employer name and telephone number.

4.2.4 Driving to Scene of Reported Emergency. The alarm investigator shall proceed to the premises in a vehicle marked with the identity of the responding alarm investigating company in a timely manner, while observing all traffic laws and maintaining safe operation of the vehicle.

4.2.5 Duties Upon Arrival. Upon arrival at the premises, the alarm investigator shall be required to report to the monitoring facility so the time of arrival can be recorded.

4.2.6 Investigator to Identify Self. If public safety personnel or private security personnel are on the scene, the alarm investigator shall promptly contact them, provide identification and offer assistance.

4.2.7 If No Emergency Response Personnel Have Arrived. If no user-authorized personnel appear to be present upon arrival, the alarm investigator shall drive completely around the perimeter of the premises, if possible, making a visual check for signs of fire or forced entry. If such signs are found, the alarm investigator shall immediately notify the monitoring facility that fire or police department assistance is required.

4.2.7.1 Awaiting Arrival of Emergency Personnel. After completing the preliminary check, the alarm investigator shall park the vehicle in a prominent location where it may be observed immediately by other authorities on the premises or by those arriving at the premises.

4.2.7.2 Use of Keys. If the alarm investigator is the first to arrive on the scene and has keys to the premises, the investigator shall request assistance and wait for the arrival of emergency response support personnel before entering. Emergency response support personnel are public safety personnel, private security personnel or another alarm investigator. As soon as the first of such support personnel arrives, or if a support person is already on site, both shall promptly enter the premises to deter-mine the cause of the alarm.

4.2.7.3 Identification of Persons on or about Premises. The alarm investigator shall attempt to identify any persons found on the premises and provide that information to the monitoring facility.

4.2.7.4 If Emergency is Found to Exist. If evidence of forced entry is found, if the premises are not secure, or if a fire exists, the alarm investigator shall remain on the premises representing the interests of the user as long as the alarm investigator is not needed elsewhere.  The alarm investigator shall offer all reasonable assistance to public safety personnel and shall make reasonable effort to ensure the premises are left secured.

4.2.7.5 If Service Cannot be Restored. If the system cannot be reset or if alarm monitoring service cannot be restored, the monitoring facility shall make reasonable efforts to contact an authorized representative of the customer and request that steps be taken to safeguard the premises until alarm service can be restored.

4.3 Hold-up and Panic Alarms.
Alarm investigators are not normally dispatched in response to received hold-up and panic alarm signals. Because these systems are always triggered manually with the intent of obtaining police assistance, alarm investigators arriving at the scene may only add to possible confusion, creating additional hazards to personal safety.

4.4 Fire Alarms.
Fire Alarms, as used in this standard, mean any manual or automatic fire detection systems. These systems include manual fire alarm systems, automatic heat or smoke detection systems, and sprinkler water flow detection systems.

4.4.1 Driving to Scene of Reported Emergency. The alarm investigator shall proceed to the premises in a timely manner while observing all traffic laws and maintaining safe operation of the vehicle.

 4.4.2 Personal Identification. The alarm investigator shall carry personal identification with the investigator name, photo, physical description, and employer name and telephone number.

4.4.3 Duties Upon Arrival. Upon arrival at the premises, the alarm investigator shall be required to report to the monitoring facility so the time of arrival can be recorded.

4.4.4 Investigator to Identify Self. If public safety personnel or private security personnel are on the scene, the alarm investigator shall promptly contact them, provide identification and offer assistance.

4.4.5 Offering Assistance. If responding fire department personnel declare that no fire exists, and if they, or a user representative, request the alarm investigator to reset the alarm system, the investigator shall promptly take whatever steps are necessary to do so.  This shall include notifying the monitoring facility of the status of the alarm system and, if appropriate, writing a work order to check the system.

4.4.6 Remaining on Premises. The alarm investigator shall remain on the premises representing the interests of the customer as long as the alarm investigator is not needed elsewhere.

4.4.7 If Service Cannot be Restored. If the system cannot be reset or if alarm monitoring service cannot be restored, the monitoring facility shall make reasonable efforts to contact an authorized representative of the customer and request that steps be taken to safeguard the premises until alarm service can be restored.

5. Monitoring Facility Security. 

For the purpose of this standard, the monitoring facility is considered to be the room, or group of rooms, where signals are received and processed by operating personnel.  Construction of the monitoring facility building shall be in compliance with appropriate UL and FM standards and with local building codes.

5.1 Physical Protection

5.1.1 Secure Access. The monitoring facility and the alarm investigator rooms shall be protected at all times against entrance by unauthorized persons and attack.

Entrances to the monitoring facility shall be kept locked at all times and arranged so that positive identification is required of any person seeking admittance prior to physical barriers being unlocked. Adequate lighting shall be provided in all parking, walk-ways and accessways.

5.1.2 Visibility from Exterior Denied. The monitoring facility shall be arranged so that persons standing outside of the monitoring facility building cannot view the interior of the monitoring facility. Any transparent windows at grade level shall be screened or painted. Any accessible openings, as defined in Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Standard for Installation and Classification of Mercantile and Bank Burglar Alarm Systems, UL 681, in the monitoring facility or alarm investigator rooms shall be covered with either (1) iron or steel bars or mesh wire screening constructed of at least no. 16 AWG (1.35 mm) expanded sheet steel or no. 10 AWG (5.26 mm) steel wire with openings not greater than 2 inches (50.8 mm), or (2) glazing complying with the requirements of the Standard for Burglary Resisting Glazing Material, UL 972.

5.1.3 Satellite Station Construction. Construction of satellite or repeater stations shall be in compliance with the Standard for Central Station Burglar Alarm Systems, UL 611, section 4.

5.1.4 Alarm Systems for Satellite Stations. Satellite and repeater stations shall be equipped with burglar alarm and automatic fire alarm systems monitored by the monitoring facility. The burglar alarm system shall comply with requirements designated Extent Number 3 in the Standard for Installation and Classification of Mercantile and Bank Burglar Alarm Systems, UL 681.

5.2 Fire Protection

5.2.1 Fire Extinguishers

5.2.1.1 Monitoring Facility. Each monitoring facility and each satellite station and repeater station shall be provided with portable fire extinguishers that comply with the Standard for Port-able Fire Extinguishers, ANSI/NFPA 10-1981.  At least two extinguishers shall have a 2-A or greater rating, and at least two extinguishers shall have a combined or combination rating of 20-B:C.

5.2.1.2 Remote Power Rooms. A remotely located power room, battery room, or engine-driven generator location shall be provided with portable fire extinguishers of sufficient number that comply with the Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers, ANSI/NFPA 10-1981.  At least one extinguisher shall have a 2-A or greater rating, and at least one extinguisher shall have a combined or combination rating of 20-B:C. A single extinguisher having a 2-A:10-B:C rating is acceptable.

5.2.1.3 Extinguisher Installation and Maintenance. Extinguishers shall be installed and maintained in accordance with the instructions marked on each extinguisher.

5.2.2 Watershed. A watershed shall be installed over monitoring facility equipment if there is a possibility of flooding or water damage from sprinkler heads or water pipes located above the equipment. The watershed may be permanent, or may be a movable waterproof cover or shield installed next to the equipment so that it can be immediately positioned by one person to protect the equipment.

5.3 Communications

5.3.1 Communications to outside. If obtainable, a dedicated circuit telephone or radio link shall connect the monitoring facility to the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) serving the monitoring facility’s location in order to provide for emergency communications. If no dedicated circuit to the PSAP is permitted, a similar link to another monitoring facility is acceptable.

A cellular telephone shall be provided as a secondary means of communication. The operation of these circuits and equipment shall be tested daily.

5.3.2 Communication to Alarm Investigator Area. At least one dedicated circuit or radio link, used in conjunction with a cellular telephone as a secondary means of communication, shall at all times connect the monitoring facility to any alarm investigator rooms to which the monitoring facility may transmit alarms that alarm investigators in the rooms are expected to answer. The connections shall be used or tested not less than once each four (4) hours while alarm investigators are on duty.

5.4 Emergency Lighting. 
Monitoring facilities, alarm investigator rooms, equipment and power rooms, and accessways shall be equipped with one or more emergency lighting systems complying with the Standard for Emergency Lighting and Power Equipment, UL 924, that can be immediately placed into service and that is independent of the power source normally used for lighting.

Exception no.1: Emergency lighting for use in a power room may be portable and located outside of the power room.

Exception no.2: Portable or fixed gas-fueled lights are acceptable for emergency lighting in alarm investigator rooms and in monitoring facilities only.

5.5 Signaling Equipment Power Supplies. 
Electrical power for the signaling equipment used in the monitoring facility, satellite and repeater stations shall be supplied by methods and equipment that comply with the requirements specified in 5.5.1 through 5.5.3.

5.5.1 For Circuits Leaving the Monitoring Facility. If a signaling circuit leaving the monitoring facility operates at a potential of 60 volts or higher, the circuit shall be equipped with current limiting means such as a fixed resistance that limits the current to a maximum of 0.050 amperes. In addition, overcurrent protection for the circuit shall be rated at not more than one ampere. Protection for individual signaling circuits shall be rated at 0.25 amperes and located at the distribution rack where the circuits leave the monitoring facility.

5.5.2 For Alarm Signaling Apparatus. If operation of any source of energy is necessary to actuate the alarm signaling apparatus, impaired operation of the source shall be indicated immediately by a visual and audible signal in the monitoring facility that is distinct from other signals.

5.5.3 Construction and Installation. Construction and installation of all power supply equipment (batteries, battery chargers, overcurrent protection, rectifiers, switching facilities, transformers, voltage regulators, emergency generating equipment, and other related equipment) and wiring shall conform to the requirements of the National Electrical Code, ANSI/NFPA 70-1987.

5.6 Main Power Supply. 
Main power shall be supplied by the public commercial light and power service or by a permanently installed engine-driven generator.
The main source of power shall supply power for all alarm signal receiving, processing and related equipment under any condition except its own impaired operation.

5.7 Standby Power Supply. 
A standby power source shall be provided to supply energy for all alarm signal receiving, processing and related equipment in the event of impaired operation of the main power supply. The standby source of power shall consist of one of the following:

(1) A storage battery or batteries having sufficient total capacity to power the referenced equipment operating under nor-mal load for not less than 24 hours.

(2) A permanently installed engine-driven generator having sufficient capacity to power the referenced equipment operating under maximum normal load, and complying with 5.7.1, and a storage battery with a four (4) hour capacity.

(3) Two or more permanently installed engine-driven generators shall be provided as a secondary source of power.  With the larger capacity engine-driven generator out of service, the remaining engine-driven generator shall be capable of supplying power to operate the referenced equipment under maximum nor-mal load. Except for conditions under 5.7.1.1, a standby battery is not required.  One of the generators shall be automatic starting.

5.7.1 Potential Loss of Signal During Power Transfer

5.7.1.1 If Signals Can Be Lost. If signals could be lost due to the transfer of power between the main and secondary power supply, or if signal receiving units will require more than 30 seconds to reset, rechargeable batteries of sufficient capacity shall be provided. The rechargeable batteries shall operate the system under maximum load for at least 15 minutes and shall assume the load in such a manner that no signals will be lost if (1) the secondary power is supplied in accordance with 5.7(1) or 5.7(2) and the transfer is made manually, or (2) secondary power is supplied in accordance with 5.7(3).

5.7.1.2 If Signals Cannot Be Lost.  If signals will not be lost due to the transfer of power between the main and secondary power supply, the transfer shall be accomplished  either manually or automatically within thirty (30) seconds of loss of main power.  If more than thirty (30) seconds is required, standby power shall be provided in accordance with 5.7.1.1.

5.7.2 Computer System Power. If a computer system is used to receive or process signals or both, an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) with sufficient capacity to operate the computer equipment for at least fifteen (15) minutes or until the secondary power supply is capable of supplying the UPS input power is required if (1) the status of signals previously received will be lost or confused upon loss of power, or (2) the computer system can-not be restored to full operation within thirty (30) seconds of loss of main power.

5.7.3 Ability to Disconnect Main Power. A means for disconnecting the input and output to a UPS while maintaining continuity of power supply to the UPS load shall be provided.

5.7.4 Batteries

5.7.4.1 Type. A storage battery shall be of the long service stationary type or gelled electrolyte type and shall be located or enclosed so that the signaling equipment cannot be affected by battery gases. All cells shall be insulated against electrical grounds and short circuits and shall be mounted so as not to be subject to mechanical damage. A rack or frame shall be protected against the corrosive effects of battery gases and liquids.

5.7.4.2 Housing. A power room or enclosure that houses batteries shall be vented to the outside atmosphere and proper safety equipment shall be provided for use during battery maintenance.
Exception: A power room or enclosure need not be vented to the outside atmosphere if it houses battery cells that are sealed to prevent the venting of gases.

 5.7.4.3 Charging Current. A source of charging current that does not exceed 259 volts shall be provided.

5.8 Physical Security for Power Supply Rooms

5.8.1 Locked Spaces. Engine-driven generators, power supplies or batteries that are located in an area of the monitoring facility building that is not under direct observation by monitoring facility personnel shall be located in a power room that is locked and has all movable openings supervised in the monitoring facility to detect an attempted entry.

5.8.2 Space That Cannot be Locked. Engine-driven generators, power supplies or batteries in an area of the building that cannot be locked shall be enclosed on all sides by wire mesh constructed either of expanded sheet steel at least 0.053 inches (1.4 mm) thick, or no. 10 AWG (5.3 mm) steel wire mesh or of an equivalent material.  Any opening in the expanded steel or mesh shall be not wider than 2 inches (51 mm) when measured in any direction.

 5.8.3 Gaps in Facility Perimeter. Gaps in the perimeter of the expanded steel or mesh barrier shall not exceed 6 inches (152 mm). The space between the barrier and a wall, floor or ceiling shall not exceed 6 inches (152 mm).

Exception: If the mesh barrier extends to a height of 8 feet (2.44 m) and is topped with three horizontal strands of barbed wire extended outwards from the secured area, and the equipment is covered by screening or the equivalent, the spacing between the barrier and the ceiling may exceed 6 inches.

5.8.4 Alarm Supervision. Every gate or door into the enclosure shall be locked and supervised by the monitoring facility by means of contacts.

5.8.5 Exterior Generators. Engine-driven generators located outdoors shall comply with the requirements specified in 5.8.2 and 5.8.3.  In addition, the screening shall extend to a mini-mum height of 6 feet (2.44 m) and shall be topped by three horizontal strands of barbed wire, extended outwards from the secured area; otherwise the equipment shall be covered by screening, or the equivalent.  The opening between the bottom edge of the screening and the surface of concrete or asphalt, or the equivalent, shall not exceed 6 inches (152 mm). There shall be no opening between the bottom edge of the screening and the surface if the surface beneath the bottom edge of the screening is not concrete or asphalt, or the equivalent.

5.8.6 Gas Supplies. If natural or manufactured gas is supplied through utility mains to fuel an engine-driven generator, the location of all shut-off valves inside or within 150 feet (45.7 m) of the monitoring facility building shall be known to monitoring facility operators, and the operators shall have written procedures for checking the valves in the case of fuel shutoff or for turning them off in an emergency.

5.9 Outside Communication Cables. For leased or other communication wires, standard telephone practice is acceptable.  A protector on each circuit, whether the circuit is underground or overhead, shall comply with the requirements of the National Electrical Code, ANSI/NFPA 70-1984.

5.9.1 Underground. Underground conductors shall be rated for underground service.

5.9.2 Overhead. Overhead conductors shall comply with the requirements of 5.9.5 through 5.9.8.

5.9.3 Terminating Devices. Terminating devices and cables shall be placed in locations that are (1) free of gas leaks, and (2) not exposed to the risk of fire from combustible materials in the vicinity.

5.9.4 Conductor Design. Conductors shall have conductance at least equal to (1) no.18 AWG (0.82 mm) copper, if single conductors are used, and (2) no.26 AWG (0.13 mm) copper, if multiple conductor cables are used.

5.9.5  Conductor Tensile Strength. Single conductors carried on poles or in long spans shall be at least equal in strength to no.14 AWG (2.1 mm) copper.  Multiple conductor cables similarly carried shall be at least equal in tensile strength to no.19 AWG (0.65 mm) copper.

5.9.6 Conductor Insulation. Conductors shall have insulated covering rated for the application.  Multiple conductors combined in cables shall have insulation and either a lead sheath or other covering around the conductors.  Conductors passing between the branches of trees shall be protected with wooden strips or other protective means.

5.9.7 Conductor Support Spans. Conductors hung in long spans shall be supported on insulators spaced at intervals not greater than 150 feet (45.7 m).  Conductors shall be hung under rather than over electric light and power conductors, unless this is impossible.

5.9.8 First-point Connection at Exterior of Monitoring Facility. Communication service conductors connecting the cables to the first point of attachment to the monitoring facility building shall have weather resistant insulating cover and shall be routed to avoid awnings, swinging signs, shutters and the like. Where a conductor is carried along the outside walls of a building, it shall either be enclosed in rigid metal electrical conduit or shall have rated weather resistant insulation. If not enclosed in a rigid conduit, the conductor shall be supported at least every 12 feet (3.66 m) on supports and, where required, independently supported on insulators and shall enter the building not less than 18 feet (5.49 m) above grade level.  No portion of the conductor shall be less than 1 foot (305 mm) from electrical light and power conductors.

5.10 Personnel. 
To the extent permissible by law, the following shall be incorporated into the monitoring facility procedures.

5.10.1 Screening. A pre-hire screening process shall be required and shall include background investigations to determine if candidates have felony conviction records.

5.10.2 Record Verification. Previous employment statements shall be verified, if possible.

5.10.3 Drug Screening. Pre-hire drug screening or polygraph tests shall be performed on all candidates and satisfactory test results shall be a requirement for any employment opportunity.

5.10.4 Written Policies. A written policy statement pro-viding for mandatory random drug testing shall be provided.

5.10.5 Communications Recording. All telecommunications shall be recorded or monitored.


6. Monitoring Facility Disaster Planning and Recovery  

6.1 Disaster Planning & Recovery

6.1.1 Formal Plan. A formal written plan for disaster preparedness and recovery shall exist, shall be updated at least every six months, and shall include:

6.1.2 Foreseeable Disasters. Potential natural and man-made disaster threats, national and local, that could affect the monitoring facility.

6.1.3 Emergency Names List. An emergency notification list that includes names, work/home/vacation-home telephone numbers, and home addresses of management, technical, and all other relevant personnel.

6.1.4 Equipment Vendor Contacts. 24-hour emergency telephone and fax numbers for equipment vendors and technical assistance groups.

6.1.5 Municipal Agency Contacts. Emergency telephone numbers for all local-to-monitoring-facility municipal agencies.

6.1.6 Utility Contacts. Formalized emergency procedures and 24-hour contact names and telephone numbers within the local utility and telephone companies.

6.1.7 Potential Relocation Site List. List of potential relocation sites, including site information and 24-hour emergency management contact names and telephone numbers.

6.2 Municipal Liaison Visits. Monitoring facility personnel shall make annual liaison visits to local municipal authorities to explain how vital the monitoring facility operation is to local and surrounding communities.

6.3 Off-Site Data Storage

6.3.1 Computer Programs. Off-site storage of all pertinent computer programs and data back-ups shall be provided.

6.3.2 Communication Circuit Information. Off-site storage shall also include listings of telephone circuit numbers, wiring diagrams, equipment configuration, and all information needed to re-establish monitoring facility operations.

6.4 Familiarity with Disaster and Recovery Plan

6.4.1 Plan Awareness. Knowledge and familiarity with the general contents of the disaster plan, and with the location of at least one readily-accessible copy of the plan, shall be required for all supervisory employees and non-supervisory personnel as may be appropriate. At least one semi-annual meeting shall be conducted to discuss the contents of the plan with all appropriate personnel in order to make sure that employees know their responsibilities in case of an emergency.

6.4.2 Plan Responsibility. A management-level employee shall be formally designated to update and maintain the data required in the plan and to verify that current copies of the plan are kept in designated and accessible locations.


7. Sensor Design and Installation 

7.1 Hold-up and Panic Buttons.
Switches shall be double-action trigger type.

7.2 Bill Traps.

Bill traps are particularly susceptible to being false alarmed.  The use of these devices is not generally recommended due to this false alarm problem. In instances where bill traps are to be used, they should be installed in pairs so that both devices must be activated before a hold-up alarm signal is transmitted to the monitoring facility. When such an arrangement is provided, a trouble signal should be sent to the monitoring facility if only one bill trap is activated so that the situation can be corrected without delay.

Note: Once one bill trap is activated, the user is back to operating with a single bill trap as a hold-up alarm activating de-vice. As an alternative to a trouble signal to the monitoring facility, or where the hold-up alarm is monitored by a police department directly, a local trouble indicator may be used.  The local trouble indicator shall not be visible or audible to the potential criminal.


8. Alarm Retransmission and Notification of Public Emergency Response Agencies.

This section is currently under development.


9. Central Station Automation Systems.

This section is currently under development.


10. Burglar Alarm Response During Storms and Other Disturbances.

This section is currently under development.