Can anyone help me?

For over 30 years our Central Station has monitored our own banks and ATMs, now all of a sudden I've got a new boss at the helm and he doesn't understand why we are not UL listed?

Trying to explain that Banks are federally regulated and insured, and within the Bank Protection Act we simply need to have our alarm system be capable of alerting the police or fire to respond, and that there is no requirement federally or on the state level where we would have to pursue UL.

Can anyone give me some direction as to where I can go that gives a clearer understanding of why federal banks that maintain their own central station that monitor only their banks, ATMs or offices are not required to be UL listed? Is there anything that you are aware of that the State of Michigan or the State of Illinois requires?

When I spoke to the UL Listing Agent, the first question he had for me is why are you pursueing this? I've yet to see any Bank that monitors their own alarms, such as Wachovia, Bank of Hawaii, Fifth Third, Comerica, and the list goes on where they have gone through UL Listing their central station.


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I'm afraid he might have a point if you monitor the fire alarms of said banks. If it's just burg signals, then you might have a case... but according to code, if your banks have fire alarms that report to your monitoring station, then you station must be UL approved.


KLee wrote:

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S. Smith

Were a local government and have a central station in our police and fire dispatch center. And were not UL approved, for 25 years our supervisors never looked in to it, and we'd never pass.

We monitor fire & burg as well as banks.

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You are, of course, correct, unless you monitor fire. I'm guessing that your new boss may be used to dealing with Diebold, which pays UL a lot of money every year. Or, he may be from the private sector, where UL listing for a central station is standard for most professionally run central stations.

How do you convince your boss it isn't required? For starters, have him look through the online UL certifications directory and see if he can find any banks. Next, point out the costs associated with becoming UL listed. Does the building in which your central station is located have a Class A fire-resistive roof? That's just for starters. Meeting UL's construction requirements can cost a pile of money, in addition to UL's initial inspection fees. And don't forget the annual listing fee, and the minimum one-half day a year you will spend with the UL inspector. Banks hate spending money on stuff that isn't necessary.

Still, I think you'd be wise to meet as many of UL's requirements as you can, without breaking the bank, so to speak. There's a reason those requirements exist.

- badenov

Reply to
Nomen Nescio

This is not a federal situation. The only way it could be a state situation is if your State Fire Marshal's office requires it and that in highly unlikely since the SFM office is there to support the local AHJ's for uniformity of adopted code, to handle the state governmental buildings, state property and any area that many not fall under a particular AHJ. If the local AHJ has made a policy or the city/county has passed an ordinance to have any fire system in that jurisdiction fall under "central station service" in the adopted code (NFPA 72), then they will prevail, if not, you will fall under the code of "proprietary supervising station systems". Third party certification or placarding does not come into play under that definition. Your insurance company could require third party verification of your operations, but again this is unlikely or it would have already been done. To maintain your proprietary status, be careful not to monitor anything outside properties owned and occupied by your company. You cannot monitor the vice president's home for instance. One persons opinion is not an ironclad stamp of approval. It is all in NFPA 72. That is for fire. The Michigan State Police handle the burg licensing. You may want to check with them, but again it is usually the insurance companies that drive the UL or FM certification programs. The Department of Professional Regulation and Education in Springfield, Ill. should be able to give you some assistance in Illinois. Don't be suprised if neither are much help on this issue.

"KLee" wrote in message news:

Reply to
Bob Worthy

It is my opinion that since you are considered a "proprietary" system of alarms and monitoring, UL is not required.

As a for-instance, Target stores monitor their own stores all over the country with their own staff and monitoring station. They regulate themselves in effect, and do not need the UL listing. UL is essentially for the public's protection. Barnett Bank years ago here in Florida used to monitor all their own Banks and ATM's, etc. in their own Jacksonville central station. No UL requirement whatsoever.

Your new boss may have an idea that he wants the central to be UL, but when he sees the costs involved he may change his mind. To UL list a central would cost approx 100K at a minimum.

Norm Mugford

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Norm Mugford

The central I use spent a fortune to get UL because they monitor fire but mainly they monitor many small banks and the banks them selves demanded it. from dealer who provides monitoring to them. Even in a proprietary location I would think UL is appropriate unless they are self insured like some of the big box ones are.I could see insurance carriers refusing to pay when UL is not included in the game plan and as querky as the courts are any more its just plain crazy not to be.

As far as municipalitys who monitor and are not UL many have stopped doing it becuse of the liability which varies from area to area. In Greensburg Pa They are no longer going to monitor the master boxes becuse of costs to maintain every thing and where they monitor is not UL which is one thing that worries them.

Reply to
Nick Markowitz

They couldn't meet NFPA 72 for "central station service" without being UL, FM or some other nationally recognized testing agency.

Anyone using a central outside of their own control should demand some sort of third party certification or placarding.

or FM or any other nationally recognized testing agency

Awfully expensive to include a logo and be ruled by a private third party company, that is not required by code unless it is deemed necessary to have "central station service". Not to say that acceptable central station standards should not be implimented and exercised.

If the insurance company did not require it when they wrote the coverage and it is not required in the adopted code, then they would pay.

UL is not the company that they once where. As a testing laboratory, they are failing to keep up and as for their certification program, it is a joke. At their own admittance, they are only doing 10% of their required inspections. In reality, through investigation, they are only doing about

2-3% of their inspections. In some cases they are years behind and I know of areas that have never been inspected.Where does that leave the certified company if they should end up in a court case and their certificates are out of date?

Sounds to me like it is more of a budget issue than a liability concern. Municipalities are pretty much exempt from most lawsuits, especially the frivolous ones. It is hard to sue a government. If something were to end up in court and with UL's record of late, they might hurt them more than help them. Again, implementing the acceptable central station standards and following them, whether it is the type of building, the software, the equipment, the amount of people per shift or the recording keeping, should be normal operating procedure. Do muni's, the banking institutions, etc. really need private third party intervention? The national code doesn't seem to think so for proprietary signaling systems.

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