Alarm Expert: Beware This Dangerous Fire Alarm Product
The Virtual Alarm monitoring re-transmitter is being marketed as UL-compliant, but doesn’t even come close, according to Jeff Zwirn.
When you read the verbiage “UL Fire Monitoring” and the equipment is red and states “DO NOT UNPLUG OR REMOVE BY ORDER OF THE STATE FIRE MARSHAL,” what comes to mind?
A new product is available on Amazon by VirtuAlarm, and its called Virtual Alarm UL Fire Digital Dual Phone Line Alarm Monitoring Re-Transmitter. The company purports that the device provides:
- Fire alarm system monitoring over 2 telephone lines with E-Z setup and free over the phone support.
- Nationwide approved UL fire monitoring provided by VirtuAlarm for only $15.95 per month.
- Free smartphone app for alarm notifications during any supervisory, trouble or fire alarm.
- Use VirtuAlarm monitoring or route alarms to any professional fire alarm monitoring company worldwide.
- Installers and dealers can become an affiliate at www.VirtuAlarm.com to receive monthly revenues.
What’s the problem?
The product is not listed by UL or any NRTL, and the way the company attempts to reconcile the materiality of this fact is to advise that UL does not list telephone equipment, RJ-31X jacks, and that UL does not apply to their product.
Clearly, these representations are grossly erroneous. In the meanwhile, this product is not just two RJ-31X telephone jack(s) alone, (which are still required to be listed) but it also contains a call diverter/router(s), and then built into each of the jacks is a fully customer accessible timer that allows the customer to delay any alarm or trouble signals from 1-10 seconds once the FACP attempts to transmit to the “UL Fire” monitoring central station.
If that was not troubling enough, the way this product is being marketed will certainly fool the public and many authorities having jurisdiction (AHJ) into believing that “this product” is compliant, but it’s not even close.
I for one am not aware of any conforming product that is NRTL-listed for commercial fire alarm systems and/or monitoring and then allows for non-listed RJ-31X jacks that contain call diverter/router(s) and built-in timers so the customer can delay alarm and trouble signals before they reach the central station.
Similarly, “UL Fire Monitoring” that requires non-listed equipment to be installed at the protected premises as a condition precedent for it to purport to be able to divert and route signal(s) from any FACP to another central station should never have been manufactured let alone be marketed and sold to the unsuspecting public.
This blog originally appeared on Jeff Zwrin’s LinkedIn.
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