Video monitoring firm Westec goes the extra mile with UL

Proprietary automation platform vetted
 - 
Thursday, September 9, 2010

DALLAS—Westec Intelligent Surveillance, which earlier this year became one of the first interactive video surveillance companies to get behind new-to-security nationally recognized testing lab Intertek ETL, has taken the extra step of getting additional listings from UL, the company announced Sept. 1.

Why go through the time and expense to do both?

“This was not really part of a master plan. We certainly had the option to stop once we achieved the ETL listing, but we realized we were really right down at the final few yards,” said Westec CTO Jon Bolen. “We had a number of customers who were very familiar with UL and we realized this would drive an increase in customer confidence in a particular segment, so we went ahead and just pushed the ball across the goal line.”

When a monitoring center earns a UL listing “their customers will enjoy the benefits of acceptance by a network of AHJs who share an appreciation for the value of UL Certification,” Steve Schmitt, operations lead for UL’s Alarm Certificate Service said.

Additionally, during UL’s audit process—which included testing for UL 827, NFPA 72 and UL 1981—UL vetted Westec’s proprietary central station automation platform software.

Does this mean that Westec could enter the space dominated by the likes of DICE, Bold, SureView and SGS, among others? Bolen said it’s certainly possible, but unlikely. “At this point, we’ve made a strategic decision not to market the application,” Bolen said. “But UL has said from an operating standpoint the application does everything it needs to do.”

Bolen’s bullish on the benefits of the ETL/UL duel-endorsement. “To our knowledge we are the only interactive video-based alarm company listed by both UL and ETL. It says something about both Westec and the interactive services space. We’re no longer a novelty,” Bolen said. “The idea of interactive services has become very much a part of folks’ business decisions as they look at virtual guard services, virtual management services and verified response.”