GE Security touts UL listing, says it's ready for business

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Thursday, June 4, 2009

BRADENTON, Fla.—Just days before fire installers converge in Chicago for the NFPA show, GE Security announced June 3 that its mass notification emergency communication (MNEC) system is the first to meet UL’s pending mass notification standard. It’s further evidence, GE executives say, that GE is poised to help its dealers take advantage of new mass notification business opportunities.

Robert Tockarshewsky, global marketing director, fire and security sector, confirmed that GE’s product is, in fact, the first to meet the pending standard, called "the outline of investigation for pending UL 2572." 

 

“It’s a great story from a lot of different directions,” said Ted Milburn, GE Security product marketing manager Americas life safety and communications. GE’s mass notification solution, EST3-Sixty is based on its EST3 fire product “that’s been in the market for a long time.” There’s a large installed base already in the market, Milburn said, so dealers “are well positioned to go back to existing projects and retrofit.”

In addition, GE has a large installed base of telephony systems in school systems around the country. Those systems can now be integrated with upgraded fire systems to create a mass notification system.

Mass notification promises to be a major theme of the June 8-11 NFPA show.

NFPA 2010 contains major changes having to do with mass notification. The new code—which defines what a mass notification system actually is, and recommends that MNEC should be built upon fire systems—will be approved at the NFPA conference. Many in the fire business believe these changes will mean more and new business opportunities for fire installers.

What the pending UL mass notification standard does, Milburn explained, is certify that a MNEC meets the intent of the NFPA code from a performance standpoint.

When GE updated its EST system to meet new code requirements, “we wanted to make sure that we were building a solution around code-based parameters.”

GE worked with UL as UL put together its new standard and as GE built its new MNEC. “We really worked closely with UL; it was a combined effort to make this happen,” Milburn said.

Milburn said GE is working to help its dealers and end users take advantage of federal stimulus funds that may be used to fund certain projects, particularly in school systems. While manufacturers like GE can’t be directly involved in applying for stimulus funds, the company is “putting together a package [for] end users and strategic partners … where we’ll give them the tools to go find and apply for stimulus funds.”