MT. PROSPECT, Ill. — The Northwest Central Dispatch (NWCD) will monitor all new commercial fire alarm systems here, eliminating central station monitoring, according to a plan approved by the Mt. Prospect Board of Trustees.
Currently, the village has 350 fire alarms being monitored through either a central station or a direct connection. However, trustees have agreed to let the Mt. Prospect Fire Department (MPFD) implement a wireless radio network that would reportedly reduce the cost to local businesses and organizations, reports JournalOnline.com.
MPFD officials maintain that the reason for the action is to migrate away from direct-connect copper phone lines, which are becoming obsolete and costs users $90 to $200 per month. Department officials note that central monitoring station costs are significantly less than a direct connection phone lines. According to a MPFD memorandum, the department believes that it takes up to 10 minutes for a central station to receive a fire alarm signal, thus causing a delay in dispatching the fire department.
NWCD will monitor all fire alarm systems installed after March 1 through a radio transmitter.
ADT will install new equipment in Mt. Prospect’s downtown fire station at no cost. Additionally, ADT will install radios in village-owned building to establish a radio network. Due to a franchise agreement between NWCD and ADT, individual alarm owners will purchase or leases radios through the integrator.
Under the configuration, business owners would only pay $90 in monitoring fees. Of that payment, ADT and NWCD will split $45 for monitoring costs. In addition, ADT will pocket $40 for radio leasing, while the remaining $5 will go toward monthly radio maintenance.
Upgrades to radio monitoring are not required for existing fire alarm systems. Rather, business owners can remain with their existing fire alarm monitoring service, according to MPFD.
The Illinois Electronic Security Association urges alarm dealers in the Mt. Prospect area to contact their customers and ask them to speak to their elected officials about their existing system and the costs they currently pay when free markets are allowed to work.