Telguard communicator meets 2013 NFPA 72 requirements

Does the new sole-path communications requirement mean more opportunities for dealers?
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Monday, February 4, 2013

CHICAGO—Telular Corp. recently announced that its Telguard TG-7FS cellular communicator is now compliant with the National Fire Protection Association 2013 edition requirements for sole-path communications. The latest edition of NFPA 72, the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, allows sole-path cellular communications to be supervised for commercial fire systems once every 60 minutes, instead of every five minutes as required by the 2010 edition, the company said.

The development—and Telguard’s reduction of sole-path service pricing to make it more economical—means more RMR for dealers and also savings for commercial business end users, according to Shawn Welsh, VP of marketing and business development for Telular, a provider of alarm and event monitoring solutions and services, based here.

“There are very few times when you get a win-win,” but this is one of them, Welsh told Security Systems News.

The company said, “To reflect the lower cellular supervision rate, we’ve lowered our price for sole-path supervision by nearly 30 percent. This should make the adoption of sole-path cellular systems an even more attractive option for both dealers and end users.”

Welsh said the NFPA 72 2010 edition contained a landmark change when it came to cellular communications. “That was the first edition that actually allowed for cellular to be used as the sole-path form of communication at all. … It was a pretty big game changer at the time and it really still is because it allows a single cellular device to replace all the landlines at an installation and still have the fire system remain UL-compliant, so that was big,” Welsh told SSN.

Building owners were able to eliminate the approximately $100 to $150 monthly fee they paid for two phone lines and replace it with a fee of $40 to $50 for cellular monitoring that went to a dealer—who saw a boost in RMR because that fee came to the dealer instead of the phone company.

However, Welsh added, “one of the things that came along with that was … [the 2010 edition] required that the cellular link be supervised or effectively tested once every five minutes.”

That put some risk in the reward dealers were getting because the frequent supervision could result in a need for more support, he said. “If you put this system in and it was properly installed with a good cellular signal, you were rewarded with significantly increased RMR. However, if the installation was not in a great cellular location, then the penalties so to speak would have been far more customer service calls,” he said.

“So the big change here in 2013,” he continued, “[was that] they recognized the increased stability of systems like cellular and realized that requiring a five-minute supervision rate was a bit too aggressive. So it was backed off, so now a sole-path installation only has to be monitored once every hour. … That’s a big change … and now that makes that risk-reward equation I mentioned almost go away because now it’s almost all reward.”

Telular said that with the updated code, it has recertified the TG-7FS sole-path cellular alarm communicator, which was launched in 2010, against the new 2013 edition and its 60-minute supervision requirement, giving “security dealers a cellular alarm communications solution for both new and existing commercial customers who want to eliminate their landlines and save money.” The TG-7FS is “UL 864 listed and dial-capture based,” according to the company.

Welsh stressed the communicator is not just a sole-path solution for commercial fire systems. “Actually the FS is a universal communicator, in that it works with any panel and it can be used in any instance—primary, backup or sole path,” he told SSN.