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NAPCO StarLink Fire® Commercial Fire Alarm Communicator Series - one way to deal with failing POTS issues
September 25, 2017
NAPCO StarLink Fire® Commercial Fire Alarm Communicator Series - one way to deal with failing POTS issues
    Our Tech Service Dept has recently seen a large uptick, from Dealer issues arising from the phone companies’ discontinuation/retirement of POTS phone line support and the resulting impact on their commercial fire alarm system accounts, large and small. Here’s the typical scenario: Out of the blue, when a Telco line proves faulty, the fire alarm system annunciates a Telco trouble at the account, and that gets everyone’s attention. First, the Dealer rolls a truck and sends in a Service Tech to the site, who checks and confirms that the POTS line is faulty, either dead or intermittently. In the latter situation, the phone line may swing in and out of service, annoying the subscriber and their occupants and/or customers, as the Fire Alarm annunciator starts beeping off the wall. But, now, unlike the old days, in reality the dealer’s hands can be tied, because increasingly the major (telephone) carriers are plain refusing to repair copper lines, and if the line is bad the dealer can’t fix the FACP – an important life safety system.
    The ultimate solution, to this ongoing problem, even before the issues crop up, is to replace the POTS connection with a sole path cellular, or, better yet, a Dual Path Cell/IP commercial fire alarm communicator that’s easier to standardize on because it’s regionally-compliant most everywhere. One great example is the NAPCO StarLink Fire® Commercial Fire Alarm Communicator Series – it’s ideal because it requires no power supply, no conduit, is self-supervised on 4-wires, and works on virtually all new and old FACPs, 12V and 24V. This is a win-win for the Dealer and the subscriber because it takes 15 minutes to install, it has a net cost (with tradeup promo) of under $30 or $50 (depending on model) and replaces 2 dedicated phone lines per Fire Panel, saving the customer thousands per year, while at the same time creating a new RMR stream for the Dealer, providing the alarm transmission service instead of the phone co. The dealer keeps the account happy and online, and keeps using his favorite central station too. Plus, the dual path unit will report via IP network if ever cell comms. blink, so the dealer ensures he keeps his  accounts  protected, regardless, maximizing his customer satisfaction & retention, while minimizing truck rolls, and his liability too.
    Best regards,
Tom Karl, VP, Business Development
NAPCO Security Technologies, Inc.
Amityville, NY
1-800-645-9445 X145
    Communication pathway failure is probably the single most cause of loss, and lawsuits, in the alarm industry.  I just had a case in California where an anger consumer sued the alarm company for a burglary [and lost].  The customer couldn't set the alarm, called the alarm company and was told the communication lines were out.  Consumer left the home.  Burglary.  Turns out the entire neighborhood had lost telephone service.  Undaunted the subscriber sued anyway.  
    Anything you can do to ensure better and more reliable communication pathways, with redundancy and back up if possible, the more you reduce your changes of getting sued.  I'm not technical but the Napco product appears to be at least one [great] answer.  Give Tom a call and tell him I sent you over for a few discount coupons.


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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301
516 747 6700