As monitoring tide shifts, Seacoast seeks UL-listing to shore up future

Tuesday, February 1, 2005

WEST ROCKPORT, Maine - With more and more insurance companies requiring UL-listed central stations for fire and burglar monitoring, Seacoast Security has initiated a plan to be fully compliant and approved by the organization by the third quarter of 2005.

“Our focus this year is to improve internal structure in a number of ways,” said Dave Haynes, president of the 30-year-old company. “And this includes having our central station listed.”

Some insurance firms will not extend any type of coverage to high-end retailers, such as a jewelry stores, if these companies do not contract monitoring services from an UL-listed central station.

The strict requirement for UL-listing ensures the insurance company that the monitoring firm meets its compliance policy that includes redundancy of computers, phones, power, receivers and even people. The organization requires at least two people on staff at all times.

“There are a couple of unique factors here,” said Steve Doyle, executive vice president of the Central Station Alarm Association, explaining how central station owners demand strict certification standards at the same time they too must meet these benchmarks.

In addition to the back-up requirements listed above, UL mandates certain types of equipment to be installed plus maintenance of the hardware.

By being UL-listed, Seacoast will not only be able to retain existing companies that would otherwise have to find another station that is recognized by UL, but also approach new customers.

Seacoast Security is a full-service security firm that monitors more than 10,000 accounts, of which approximately 20 percent are third party. It operates four other locations in Maine - Bangor, Freeport, Presque Isle and Lewiston - and one in Portsmouth, N.H.

Haynes has been in contact with UL, although the organization has not visited the company’s central station, which is located here, to give final approval.

One of the last things the company has to do before the final inspection is to install a new voice recorder system.

Haynes said the company has not yet purchased any voice recorders, but it has researched products from Dictiphone, Exacom, Mirra/Racal and Record/Play Tek.