Calgary Delays Plan to Take Over Fire Alarm Monitoring

MARKHAM, Ontario, Canada

The Calgary Fire Department (CFD) has put a temporary hold on a plan to take over the monitoring of fire alarms from private alarm companies after consultations with the Canadian Security Association (CANASA). The CFD says it will work with the alarm industry to modify its “Direct Protect” program that was approved by the Calgary City Council on May 3.

In a letter to CANASA, Calgary Fire Chief Wayne Morris says the Direct Protect plan will start “from a blank slate” and will be developed “from the ground up.”

The original plan would have put the CFD in the alarm business, as it would monitor commercial and residential fire alarm systems from its 911-dispatch center. CANASA had protested the plan, saying it was put together without consultation with the alarm industry, had a bias toward a single solution and was set to compete with the alarm industry.

CANASA National President Angelo Bucciarelli said in a statement he now looks forward to working with the CFD on a cooperative solution. “We clearly support the principle of faster response, but they were going to jeopardize the success of the program if they did not have the involvement of the industry,” he said. “The industry’s preference would definitely not be to see fire departments creating their own monitoring stations. Instead, fire departments should work more proactively with the monitoring industry.”

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