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When an academic campus, hospitality facility or other multi-building site is in need of a new protection option, one of the most appealing choices to consider is Siemens Cerberus DMS. Cerberus DMS is a system that can be either a simple or advanced application for a complex industrial site. When the goals for protecting your school or hospitality property seem daunting, this is a system designed to make things simpler. It’s smarter, more efficient and more flexible than previous iterations of protection for large properties. Here are some the reasons to consider implementation.

More than Fire Protection

Cerberus DMS is more than fire protection; it’s actually a highly customizable danger management station. That means fast, reliable response to not only fire events, but life safety events and security events as well. It also helps you avoid disruptive building evacuations and unnecessary false alarm escalations; in other words, it also protects customer experience, your reputation and your bottom line.

Multi-Discipline Integration

Cerberus DMS can integrate multiple disciplines, which means fire safety and security can be combined with access control, intrusion detection and video surveillance. When all your building protection systems are working together as one, the result is a unified security platform that keeps daily operations running like clockwork while all your occupants stay safe.

Scalability, Flexibility and Accessibility

Cerberus DMS is a system that can grow with your organization. When it’s time to make expansions to your property, it can accommodate that growth with scalable, flexible technology. The open platform and smooth integration means low life cycle costs, making it easy to incorporate changes with fast, easy engineering. And for managers, it’s easy to access the system from anywhere thanks to a mobile app.

Other exciting features of the Cerberus DMS protection system include:

  • Fast, correct guidance of intervention forces
  • Support for confident emergency management
  • Clear, immediate event notification
  • Verification actions assure the validity of fire and security alarms
  • Automatic, verified actions to reduce response time
  • Detailed reports can be generated
  • A 24/7 manned control room

To learn more about Cerberus DMS, Seattle area managers can contact Guardian Security. We will be glad to answer your questions.

About Guardian Security

Guardian Security is the first choice for home security in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. We service public buildings, office buildings, warehouses, homes, schools, hotels and hospitals. Our customers have included local and national names that you know and trust.

The post For Campuses and Hospitality, There’s Siemens Cerberus DMS appeared first on Guardian Security Systems.

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Recently, Guardian was pleased to be featured in the Seattle edition of the “Who’s Who in Building Construction”, a Kelley Blue Book publication. Titled “Guardians of the (Seattle) Galaxy”, the article featured Bob Vezzani and Stassa Hansen from our Fire Alarm Division. Bob and Stassa spoke at length about the company’s rich history dating back to the 70’s, and covered topics ranging from their personal passion for life safety as well as modern fire alarm engineering solutions and advice for building owners throughout Washington State.

Click here to read the full article.

About Guardian Security

Guardian Security is an authorized dealer for a wide array of best in class fire alarm products from top manufacturers with over 40 years of experience installing, maintaining and servicing fire alarm systems throughout Washington State. To schedule an evaluation of your fire alarm system, please contact us today.

The post Guardian Security Featured in the Seattle Edition of Who’s Who of Building Construction appeared first on Guardian Security Systems.

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As of October 2018, Siemens discontinued the manufacturing of replacement parts for the Siemens MXL fire alarm system, so it’s time to upgrade to the new FireFinder XLS. While you may be happy with the performance of the old system, aged systems become more expensive to repair and service.

With no more replacement components, your business may be tempted to use makeshift parts, but this may compromise the integrity of the entire system. Siemens has a migration solution that helps extend your investment in your old system by allowing you to reuse MXL parts when installing the FireFinder XLS system. Migration of your fire alarm system may seem overwhelming, but Siemens Migration Solution makes the process simple by breaking it down into phases. Here’s a brief look at the migration phases.

Phase 1

Upgrade your Siemens MXL system with innovative panels. The Cerberus Pro Modular provides smart fire detection for complex or large applications. This contemporary version of FireFinder XLS is completely customizable. It allows you to construct a cost-effective fire alarm system with Siemens’ latest technology innovations.

Phase 2

Next, replace phased-out detectors for advanced fire detection with 520 Hz sounder bases, and CO detectors. The new FireFinder XLS includes a PAD-5 power supply that has significant potential. There’s no need to worry about your current FP-11 detectors because they meet current standards and codes. However, there is a path for migration when you’re ready to expand your system. New detectors will be available that meet UL 268 7th edition requirements for future expansion of your system.

Phase 3

You can continue to upgrade the customizable Cerberus Pro Modular to meet the current needs of your facility today and into the future. Siemens will continue to manufacture components that meet UL 268 standards. Support for the older MXL systems will continue until 2023 giving you time to upgrade your fire alarm system for maximum cost-efficiency.

When you upgrade your MXL system to the most recent Siemens technology your system will keep providing efficient fire security many more years. You’ll also extend the lifetime of your prior investment and save 75 percent versus replacing the whole fire alarm system.

Migrate Your Out-Dated Fire Alarm System Today

Guardian Security is an authorized Siemens dealer with over 40 years of experience installing, maintaining and servicing fire alarm systems throughout Washington State. To schedule an evaluation of your fire alarm system and a complimentary migration plan, please contact us today.

The post It’s Time to Upgrade Your Siemens MXL Fire Alarm System to the New FireFinder XLS appeared first on Guardian Security Systems.

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Block parties, barbeques, and pool time… summer is all about the fun! Because we spend more time enjoying time away and more time outdoors during the summer months, the number of burglaries and outdoor related injuries also increases. We here at Guardian Security want to help you make all of your summer memories good ones by helping you and your family stay safe. Consider following these helpful tips this summer!

Keep Your Home Secure

A burglary happens every 15 seconds in the United States and the Bureau of Journal Statistics says that the incidents of burglary rise in the summer months.  Take extra precautions this summer to protect your family and belongings.

  1. Keep bushes and trees trimmed so they do not obscure your view or provide cover to a criminal.
  2. Keep windows and doors locked.
  3. Protect your home with an alarm system.
  4. Make sure you look home, even when you are not,
  5. Use a wireless and interactive automation system to automate lighting, televisions, and radios and vary the times of usage.
  6. Put a hold on mail and newspapers if you go away.
  7. Never leave keys out under pots or mats.
Be Vigilant About Outdoor Safety

With the increase of free time and more time spent outdoors, the opportunity for outdoor related accidents increases proportionally during the summer months. To keep your time outdoors enjoyable, follow a few simple precautions.

  1. Always use appropriate safety gear when enjoying outdoor activities.
  2. Use a safety net around trampolines, and supervise playtime.
  3. Never leave a barbeque unattended while in use, and keep the cooking area free of debris.
  4. Make sure swim time is always supervised.
  5. Install a locked and gated fence around the pool. Also consider making the area more secure with an alarm system.
  6. Keep hydrated and avoid heat exhaustion.
  7. Avoid direct exposure to chemically treated or fertilized lawns.
  8. Never let children or pets stay in or play in parked cars.
  9. Ensure the safety of playgrounds before use.
  10. Learn safety precautions before using outdoor equipment such as ATVs.

At Guardian, we are proud to be a provider of solutions that help keep Seattle residents safe. If you have any questions about how to improve your home security this summer, or want to know the ways you can utilize home security and home automation for a safer and more efficient home, give us a call today. We are happy to help.

The post 17 Ways to Keep Your Summer Safe and Carefree appeared first on Guardian Security Systems.

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When a fire system is not in place or functional and evacuating the building is not an option, it’s critical for fire watch protocols to be carried out. The fire watch is a guideline established by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), as well as a required ordinance in your city.

At Guardian Security, we confirm that our customers understand their fire watch responsibility anytime a fire system is in test mode for over 24 hours. However, it is important to note that we do not provide fire watch services or direct customers to any recommended agencies. It is the responsibility of the customer to coordinate their own fire watch protocols. To assist with this, here are some fire watch information basics.

When a Fire Watch is Necessary

A fire watch becomes necessary any time a fire and life safety system is not yet installed in a building, or if the system is not communicating for any reason. This may be during construction or renovation of a building. It may also be while the fire system in test mode, or if the panel is dead. If there is a communication failure between your system and the monitoring center, a fire watch is necessary until the matter is resolved. Whatever the reason for the system not working, the fire watch must be maintained until both the fire alarm and sprinkler systems are again properly functioning.

Who Conducts the Fire Watch

Although the fire watcher doesn’t need to be an employee of the organization, fire watchers should be familiar with the buildings they are watching. They should also be well versed in the facility’s fire emergency plan, and know where all the operational fire and communication equipment is located. This includes manual pull stations, fire extinguishers and walkie-talkies. Of course, they should also be fully prepared to use that equipment in the event of a fire. An organization should have more than one fire watcher assigned, as rounds should take place once an hour the entire time a building is occupied. It is possible to hire a professional fire watcher for the time your system will be down.

What Fire Watchers Do

A fire watcher can be anyone who meets the criteria described above; however, there is one caveat. Organizations must be aware that until the system is working again, maintaining that fire watch is the person’s only job. During their rounds, they’ll be thoroughly checking all parts of the building affected by the fire alarm and sprinkler failures, including rooms and spaces that are not normally inhabited.

In NFPA 101-A.9.6.1.7, the regulation also states: “A fire watch should at least involve some special action beyond normal staffing, such as assigning an additional security guard(s) to walk the areas affected.” If there is a fire, the fire watcher is the person who notifies the fire department and makes sure all occupants evacuate the building.

A fire watch requires use of a log sheet, which the fire watcher should be trained on beforehand. Every fire watcher keeps this log while conducting hourly rounds.

Fire Watch and Human Error

The human element of a fire watch is important, and yet it can also be fallible. For example, experts have cited too much reliance on staff for a critical 31 minutes as one factor in the tragic fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral. Rather than viewing that as a reason to avoid fire watch, organizations should view it as a reason to get proactive about having a working fire and life safety system. To inquire about installation and servicing of fire systems, Seattle organizations can contact Guardian Security. We will be glad to help.

About Guardian Security

Guardian Security is the first choice for security in the Pacific Northwest for public buildings, office buildings, warehouses, homes, schools, hotels and hospitals. Our customers have included local and national names that you know and trust.

The post Facts About Fire Watch: What Organizations Need to Know appeared first on Guardian Security Systems.

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When seconds count, it is important to rely on an alarm communication system with the fastest speed and most reliable service. AES wireless mesh provides users with important advantages such as system redundancy, not disturbed by things like physical barriers and the elements as well as having the fastest transmission speed of 1-3 seconds (internet which can take from 4-6 seconds and telephone and cellular lines which can take up to 45 seconds).

Quality Installation Insures Performance

If you are opting in to a wireless mesh alarm system, it is helpful to know what to look for in a quality installation because great installation ensures optimal performance. It also helps increase resiliency.
Here are some things your fire system expert will consider in the process of installation:

  • Building construction details including the building materials used whether that includes wood, metal or concrete.
  • The distance from the Fire Alarm Control Panel and the mounting location.
  • Check NetCon, or network connectivity. This is the location where peak Radio frequency (RF) performance is achieved.

At the time of installation, the technician also does these things to ensure the system is able to achieve peak performance.

  • Powers up the system using either AC or battery power for initial power up.
  • Programs the account ID code.
  • Verifies network connectivity values.
  • Determine the need and size of antennas.
  • Appropriately mount antenna at least 18 inches above the roofline.
  • Make sure the antenna placement is at least 10 inches away from any parapet, wall, or obstruction.
  • Ensure the antenna has 360-degree visibility.
  • Ensure the antenna and its elements are physically protected from the elements and weatherproofed.
Choose Knowledgeable Technicians

The fire alarm system is one of the most critical pieces of equipment in any business, so choosing qualified professionals and reputable fire and security alarm company is one of the most important decisions you will make. When you choose a security technology company, be sure they are aware of all local and national regulations, such as the National Electric Code (NEC) and the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code (NFPA), among others. When in doubt, do not hesitate to ask questions. An alarm industry expert will readily answer your questions and be willing to provide information about various solutions so that you can compare capabilities and choose the best one for your needs.
Guardian Security is Washington’s leader in residential and commercial life safety solutions and specializes in comprehensive security and fire and life safety systems. Guardian Security has one of the largest wireless mesh networks in the nation. If you have questions about AES wireless mesh networks, please call Guardian Security today.

The post What to Look for in a Quality AES Wireless Mesh Radio Fire Alarm System Installation appeared first on Guardian Security Systems.

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Most of the time, fire alarms are somewhat out of sight and out mind, just waiting for a possible threat. At some point however, every building will encounter a false alarm. The alarm law defines a false alarm as any alarm signal that elicits emergency response and where there is no evidence of an actual emergency. While it seems like a small annoyance, false or nuisance alarms have a huge impact on both how we respond to alarms and how it burdens emergency services.

We Ignore Repeated Alarms

Think of how often you hear a car alarm. Pretty often, right? Out of any of the times you have heard one in recent memory, how many of them did you assume a car was being stolen? Probably few, if any. This is because we become fatigued by repeated alarms. Studies show that all it takes is three nuisance alarms a year to seriously impact the responsiveness of the building occupants. This is the point when we assume that every alarm is a false one and so delay any action. We are more likely to be annoyed with the disruption than fear it could be real. This leads to increased fire associated injury and deaths.

False Alarms Burden Emergency Services

False alarms pose a huge problem for emergency services who have limited personnel and resources to respond to them. Simple mistakes lead to an overwhelming number of nuisance calls, pulling the services away from real alarms. Nationwide, fire departments responded to 2.5 million false alarms in 2014, almost twice the total number or reported fires and five times the number of structure fires.

We are more likely to be annoyed with the disruption than fear it could be real. This leads to increased fire associated injury and deaths.

False Alarms are Costly

Since instituting a fee for false alarms many cities, including Seattle, have seen a huge reduction in the number of false alarms. Seattle, for example, imposes a fee per false alarm to which emergency services arrives.

Why Do False Fire Alarms Happen and How Can They Be Prevented?

Many things contribute to false alarms, and many of them are preventable. Fire alarm systems are like any other piece of equipment and subject to aging, elements, misuse, and errors. Here are just a few of the most common causes of nuisance alarms:

  • Dirt or debris in the components
  • Component failure in older systems
  • Failure to use exhaust systems in commercial areas
  • Mischief

The best way to prevent false alarms is to have the fire alarm system inspected and maintained regularly. This will ensure all of the components are clean and in working order. It is also important to update your system regularly. No fire alarm system will perform well indefinitely. Finally, minimize exposure to harmful elements whenever possible by using appropriate equipment such as exhaust fans or dust collectors, and ensuring fire alarm sensor equipment is properly positioned away from cold or heat returns.

About Guardian Security

Based in Seattle and serving all of Washington State, Guardian Security if family owned and has been serving the community for over 40 years. Guardian Security has the largest AES Wireless Radio network in Western Washington and can ensure your property is monitored and communicating to our UL listed central station with multiple communication methods.

The post Commercial Fire Protection: Avoiding False or Nuisance Alarms appeared first on Guardian Security Systems.

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The new standard for smoke detection is UL 268. Here’s what homeowners and business owners need to know about this regulation.

What is UL 268?

Established by UL, the organization that maintains global safety certifications for a variety of industries and products, UL 268 is a regulation that sets a higher standard for smoke detector manufacturers. By complying with UL 268, makers of the smoke detectors you use in your home or business are providing earlier detection of dangerous smoke levels in the air. But that’s only the beginning.

While no smoke alarm is a “false” alarm, UL 268 does introduce a brand new test for nuisance alarms. This makes smoke detectors able to distinguish between a fast-moving fire or smoldering fire (which are truly dangerous), and “deceptive phenomenon” like small amounts of kitchen smoke from cooking or baking.

What does UL 268 do?

First, UL 268 can better represent the smoke profiles and behavior of modern building fires. It will ensure that the next generation of smoke detectors will be intelligently designed to respond to the most common smoke and fire patterns. Whether a fire is at home or in a public building, this can give building occupants more time to safely evacuate in the event of a fire.

How does UL 268 address false alarms?

While no smoke alarm is a “false” alarm, UL 268 does introduce a brand new test for nuisance alarms. This makes smoke detectors able to distinguish between a fast-moving fire or smoldering fire (which are truly dangerous), and “deceptive phenomenon” like small amounts of kitchen smoke from cooking or baking. That means no more dealing with an ear-splitting alarm when there’s only minor kitchen smoke in your skillet.

How does UL 268 address faster fire detection?

UL 268 introduces two new polyurethane foam tests for smoldering and flaming fires. This is important in commercial buildings like hotels and healthcare facilities, where furniture often contains highly flammable polyurethane foam and other synthetic materials. When ignition of these materials is detected sooner, everyone inside can flee to safety more quickly.

When is UL 268 compliance mandatory?

All UL-certified smoke detectors will be required to meet the enhanced UL 268 requirements by the year 2020. This represents a major change we can get behind, and we think our customers will appreciate it as well. To inquire about fire safety equipment and intelligent smoke detectors, Seattle residents can contact Guardian Security. We will be glad to schedule a free fire safety consultation at your property.

About Guardian Security

Guardian Security is the first choice for home security in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. We service public buildings, office buildings, warehouses, homes, schools, hotels and hospitals. Our customers have included local and national names that you know and trust.

The post UL 268: A New Standard for Smoke Detectors appeared first on Guardian Security Systems.

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In recent years, mass shootings across the county have dominated the headlines – from the San Bernardino, California shooting in 2015, to the Orlando, Florida Pulse Nightclub shooting in 2016, to the Las Vegas Route 91 shooting in 2017 – and shooting after tragic shooting in schools, community centers and places of worship as recently as the end of 2018.

Since these events began increasing in frequency, Americans have sought out various ways to combat the insecurity and turmoil. Some solutions are more productive than others, but one of the most proactive responses that has gained traction is the movement to promote active shooter training.

Now more than ever, communities need established protocols in place for active shooter situations. If an organization is deficient in response protocol, lives will be in jeopardy when an emergency occurs. Having a cohesive set of protocols can reduce risks when seconds count.

Where to Find Active Shooter Training

Where does a community institution find an active shooter training program? There are various Active Shooter/Hostile Event Response (ASHER) programs available to the public, but the one we recommend is NFPA 3000 . This is the training solution introduced by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA ®) in 2018.

About NFPA 3000 Active Shooter Training 

NFPA 3000 is a provisional standard in active shooter training that was developed by a consortium of experts; first responders, emergency management, higher education administrators and facility managers all worked alongside the NFPA to develop the program.

Additionally, more than a dozen public agencies were involved: the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security, International Association of Chiefs of Police, and International Association of Fire Chiefs among them. The program’s purpose is to establish a set of standards related to the preparedness, response and recovery in a hostile event, including an active shooter scenario.

How to Access NFPA 3000

The NFPA 3000 training series is available with an online subscription, making it easy to access from anywhere. Households, school districts, public agencies and private businesses can choose the training level that is the best fit for the organization. This is one thing that sets NFPA 3000 apart from other active shooter training programs.

Supplemental materials are also available: a downloadable checklist, a readiness assessment document, and a fact sheet. All of these materials are designed to assist subscribers in establishing proactive, effective response protocols in active shooter and hostile event scenarios.

To learn more about NFPA 3000, visit NFPA.org.

About Guardian Security

Guardian Security is the first choice for security in the Pacific Northwest for public buildings, office buildings, warehouses, homes, schools, hotels and hospitals. Our customers have included local and national names that you know and trust.

The post Active Shooter Training & What To Do: NFPA 3000 appeared first on Guardian Security Systems.

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It’s almost time for the Fire Alarm Advisory Board Special Sessions Smoke Control event on April 23. The theme, Creating a Smoke Control Strategy for Your Building, is important for a variety of building project stakeholders. We did a quick Q&A with Travis Quaale, our resident smoke control expert who has been part of the Guardian Security family for almost 30 years. When it comes to smoke control, there’s no better resource than Travis; ten years ago, he oversaw the largest smoke control project west of the Mississippi at the time.

Q: Travis, what are some common misconceptions building professionals may believe about smoke control?

A: Often, there’s a misconception about who should be involved. General contractors, HVAC professionals, elevator control engineers and sprinkler contractors all need a working knowledge of smoke control in order to complete their projects. So do designers, architects, electrical contractors and mechanical contractors. They need to know what goes into smoke control, because it’s a critical piece of completing their project. 

Q: If these professionals don’t know where to start, what’s their first step?

A: They should start with plan review and permitting. It all depends on the jurisdiction where the project is located, so they should know what the plan review is going to look like for that specific jurisdiction. 

Q: How do they find that information out?

A: Get to know your AHJ, which is the authority having jurisdiction. Many people don’t realize that every AHJ operates differently. Believe it or not, smoke control code requirements in Seattle are not the same as smoke control code requirements in Bellevue. So the requirements of your last project in one jurisdiction may not be the same as the requirements of your next project in another.

Q: And how do people get to know their AHJ?

A: That’s what our smoke control event is all about. They’ll be able to meet and ask questions of authorities in Kirkland, Redmond, Bothell, Kenmore, Bellevue, Mercer Island, Renton, Newcastle, Issaquah, and unincorporated King County…all in all, we will have 10 to 12 jurisdictions represented. 

Q: Any final piece of advice for building professionals regarding smoke control?

A: Talk to each other. Too often, everyone is concentrated solely on doing their own thing: HVAC, electrical, or whatever their role is. But when it comes to smoke control, we all have to work as a team. We can’t afford to be anything but a flawless unit. If there is a smoke event, my smoke control systems have to work, the sprinklers have to work, and the HVAC has to work so we can move smoke out of the area where it originated and keep it from spreading throughout the building. Everyone has to work together like a symphony in order to make it happen. If we’re doing it correctly, it becomes a very tight knit relationship. 

The event will be held April 23 from 9:30 to noon at Redmond City Hall: 5800-15990 NE 85th St. For more information, contact Stassa Hansen, fire systems sales manager at Guardian Security: shansen@guardiansecurity.com.

About Guardian Security

Guardian Security is the first choice for security in the Pacific Northwest for public buildings, office buildings, warehouses, homes, schools, hotels and hospitals. Our customers have included local and national names that you know and trust.

The post Q&A with Travis Quaale, Smoke Control Expert appeared first on Guardian Security Systems.

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