What is monitoring and how does it work?
The alarm equipment on your premise is set off or trips under certain circumstances, for example, when smoke is detected from a fire or movement is detected in front of a security motion detector. While the alarm system will normally sound off locally to notify those on the premise, it can also communicate electronically to a central station via a communication device. (Depending on the communication device installed at your premise, this can happen over a telephone line, via internet, or via radio or cellular transmissions.) A central station is a dedicated center with personnel available around the clock to respond to signals from your alarm system – which is effectively monitoring.
My home already has an alarm system. Can Central Signal monitor my existing equipment?
Central Signal can and will monitor most existing equipment. The addition of a communication device may be necessary.
Do I need a landline to have you monitor my alarm system?
No. We can monitor your alarm via landline, but we have many options available that do not require a landline.
Will my system have 24-hour monitoring?
Our central station is professionally staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
What is a passcard and what does it have to do with monitoring?
A passcard is a blue ID card to fit in a wallet with information about a monitored system and its user. It will list the authorized user’s name, ID # of the monitored system at the central station, and the password for the authorized user of the system.
Who needs to have a passcard for my monitored system?
Any person who is authorized to be at your premise and use the alarm system will need a passcard with an assigned password. The password allows an individual to identify themselves as an authorized user of your system. Authorized users can cancel most false alarms, make account inquiries, and place the system in test (temporary non-dispatch) mode.
Passwords can be word(s), number(s), or a combination of both, but cannot exceed 20 characters including spaces. You may choose individual passwords for each user or have one blanket password covering all users. If you do not submit a password for an authorized user, they will be allowed to identify themselves to the central station by name only.
What is a call list verification form (CLVF)?
The CLVF is a list at your monitoring central station showing those persons with authorized use of your alarm system and their corresponding passwords, as well as those individuals/organizations that should be contacted in the event of an alarm and their corresponding telephone numbers. You can request a CLVF from our office at any time by calling 781-321-9551, emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via mail to Central Signal Corporation, 607 North Ave Bldg 18 Fl 2, Wakefield, MA 01880-1322.
How do I make changes to my Call / Authorized Lists for my monitored system?
CSC requires all changes to Call & Authorized Lists at your central station to be submitted in writing with an authorized signature and date. You can request a CLVF from our office at any time by calling 781-321-9551, emailing us at email@example.com, or via mail to Central Signal Corporation, 607 North Ave Bldg 18 Fl 2, Wakefield, MA 01880-1322 and make the changes directly on the CLVF. You may also submit written changes without a CLVF via email or mail. Passcards will be mailed to you for any new authorized users you submit.
I received an email or letter from Central Signal requesting additional info on my monitored account. Where should I send the info?
CSC requires all changes to your monitored account to be submitted in writing with an authorized signature and date. You can submit your response with revisions via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or via mail to Central Signal Corporation, 607 North Ave Bldg 18 Fl 2, Wakefield, MA 01880-1322.
What should I do when my alarm goes off?
When you are in a safe place, call the central station at phone number listed on your passcard. When the dispatcher answers, they will request the identifying info on your passcard. Once they can identify you as an authorized user, they can discuss the alarm transmission with you.
Why is my landline dead or why am I cut off from a call when my alarm goes off?
It is possible your alarm system uses your landline to transmit signals to the central station. These types of systems have something called “line-seizure” built into them meaning they will seize the landline to report the alarm to the central station. The landline will not be available for telephone calls until the transmission is finished. If you have access to a cell phone please contact the central station using your cell phone.
What does the central station do when my alarm goes off?
For most transmissions received at the central station, standard protocol is for the dispatcher to call the premise, unless (a) the kind of alarm requires special protocol; (b) the alarm owner requests the particular transmission be handled a different way; or (c) another protocol must be followed because of local/state/national regulations. In the case of a panic alarm, for example, protocol is to call the police first.
Why didn’t the central station call me when my burglary alarm went off?
The most likely reason is if you accidentally trip your burglary system, but immediately silence/stop it by entering your keypad code, your burglary alarm transmission will be followed by a cancel report. This effectively lets the central station know that an authorized user made a mistake and not to respond. Another possible reason is the central station does not have your premise landline or your personal cell phone number. Please contact the central station with your passcard info, and they will help clarify the reason why.
Under what circumstances would I need to put my account on test at the central station?
Anytime time you would like the central station to ignore signals coming from your system (eg, work is being done on your system, testing your system before closing up for vacation, etc.) you will need to call the central station with your passcard information to place the system on test. While your system is in test or temporary non-dispatch mode the central station will record your alarm activity but not respond in any way, for example, they will not notify authorities such as the police or fire departments. Putting your system in test mode will not prevent the alarm from sounding at your premise.
Burglary & trouble signals can only be placed on test for a period of 24 hours over the phone. If you do require the system on test longer than 24 hours, we require that request to be in writing.
Commercial fire systems can only be placed on test a day at a time. If more time is needed, we need approval from the fire department in writing.
Should I test my system and how often?
Yes, we recommend that you test your alarm system monthly. You always want to make sure your alarm system is in good working condition. To assist, you we have put instructions to notify the central station on the back of your passcard when testing your system.
**Note** Always test your system after any work has been done that could have affected the operation of your alarm system. Especially if you change your landline phone service provider. **
Will I get charged for false alarms?
False alarms cost everyone money. A faulty alarm panel or the careless use of an alarm system can lead to false alarms, and cities are growing increasingly strict concerning the number of false alarms they will respond to before fining an alarm panel owner. Every municipality has its own rules regarding fines for false alarms. It is wise to check with your local city hall for the rules governing your area. It is also wise to ensure that you keep your alarm system in good working condition and that you know how to use it properly as this will help to greatly reduce the possibility of false alarms.
Do I need to notify you if I change landline phone service providers?
You only need to notify us if your landline is used for alarm monitoring, as it may affect your system’s ability to communicate with the central station.