Fire system dealers have a lot of options when it comes to selecting a fire alarm communicator. Here is a list of five questions every fire system dealer needs to ask before deciding on a platform.

Does it work in my location?

Just like real estate, it’s all about location. When selecting the right fire alarm communicator, you need to think about which cellular networks are available in the location where you’re looking to install the system.

There are four major cellular networks in Canada: Rogers, Bell, Telus and Sasktel. Generally speaking, a dealer will have easy access to two of the major networks at any given location. It’s essential to make sure the unit you’re using works with all the cellular networks, because even if a location has two networks available, one might be more reliable than the other. And that’s not something you’ll always know before getting on site.

The TG-7FS communicator uses a multi-carrier SIM that works on all four major Canadian carriers, so you can ensure no matter where you’re installing and which networks are available, you’ll have a fire alarm communicator that works.

Does it work in my location?

Although many fire communicators can be run off of cellular networks alone, having the option for a second path can increase security for sites that need it. This is a benefit that Frank Amelsvoort, Service Manager at G.I.T. Security Systems in Ontario, thinks might become more important. “As cellular service becomes more at risk due to criminal tampering, masking and jamming, a second path could prove important to provide clients with a choice to add backup communications, and IP communicators can be supervised with very little network overhead in Central Station Receivers.”

Is it certified to the appropriate ULC Standards?

It’s critical to select a unit that is certified to meet the correct ULC Standards. Particularly, when it comes to fire installations, ULC S559 certification is a must for any system. Part of that certification is the end-to-end communication time for an alarm.

The TG-7FS is adequately listed, although ULC inspectors might not be as familiar with it. The system has a long-standing history in the United States, but it is fairly new to the Canadian market. “Our ULC inspector (for our Central Station) expressed interest in how we were finding them in terms of installation and operation, and I advised that they work exactly as advertised, which is pretty nice in this day and age, when not everything works the way you expect,” says Amelsvoort.

Is it compatible with my current panel?

If you’re looking to install a new fire alarm communicator but use an existing panel, it’s important to make sure the communicator works with a variety of panels. Having a fire alarm communicator that’s universal, meaning it works with all panels, can ensure that whatever panel your client has, you know you have a system to work.

The Telguard TG-7FS is a universal communicator, and it operates with panels using Contact ID, SIA, DMP, Radionics, and more.

What accessories is it compatible with?

Having a wide range of accessories makes sure you can satisfy even the pickiest of operators. One popular feature is having a power expansion module (PEM).

The TG-PEM’s power module allows you to run the TG-7FS off of 24-volt panel power, so you won’t need to hire an electrician to install an outlet. The TG-PEM’s zone expander capabilities allow Telguard systems like the TG-7FS to take in multiple inputs and deliver information to the Central Station. This could prove invaluable when converting fire systems with outputs but no dialers into remotely monitored systems with the help of the TG-7FS communicator. Telguard also offers directional and omnidirectional antennas if you need a signal boost in your location.

When selecting a fire alarm communicator, there are some key questions to ask. Making sure you have a system that meets all the requirements you and your clients have can ensure a great installation.

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