Access control system upgrade

Access control solutions for any commercial, retail, public or business environment. A variety of access control readers, doors, gates and devices allow us to deliver the right equipment, products and technology for every installation. Our access control management solutions allow you to control, track and manage access to any facility for improved employee and visitor management. We add value to your operations with managed access control and handle all phases of access control system layout and configuration, installation, maintenance, inspections and testing with our local service and support. The benefits of Access Control The best access control systems in the business Prevent unauthorized visitor access Restrict employee access to sensitive areas Easily manage access credentials Accommodate trusted vendors and suppliers Generate traffic reports by time-of-day, day-of-week and more Track entry/exit times by employee or department Retrieve audit data for review in case of a workplace incident Perform centralized lock-down in the event of an emergency security threat Administer your access control system remotely, or have our company manage it for you Enhance the way you protect your people, assets and facilities Call for free estimate. 401-828-2271

Why UL-Certified Alarms Are Essential for Jewelers

Why UL-Certified Alarms Are Essential for Jewelers

Using an alarm

Would you drive a car that wasn’t crash-tested or inspected to make sure all of its complex parts worked together in harmony?

Hopefully not. The risks would be too devastating to overcome if something went wrong.

Now, apply that same principle and cautionary state of mind to your jewelry business and ask yourself if you can risk not having a UL-Certified alarm.

What does UL stand for?

UL stands for Underwriters Laboratories, and they are an organization that tests everything from alarms to appliances to cleaning products to kids toys.

In fact, they do more than test: they certify, validate, test, verify, inspect, audit, advise, and educate.



You may recognize their mark — it appears on over 22 billion products, including alarms. In addition to the actual alarm, UL also certifies alarm service providers, which is equally important for jewelers to consider.

What makes an alarm and an alarm service UL-Certified?

UL sets minimum performance standards for alarm systems that exceed those captured in an alarm service and maintenance agreement. Among other things, they ensure that:

  • electrical protection circuits and devices signal properly
  • the system is properly installed
  • the system is monitored and maintained according to UL standards

Even if the alarm system is fully operational, it doesn’t do much good if the response to an alarm signal is inadequate or completely absent. UL issues certificates for two types of monitoring:

CRZH (Dept of Defense) and Central Station
Mercantile (MR)
  • A guard (also known as a runner) is designated for a response
  • Provides supervised openings and closings
  • Provides two-party control over arming and disarming of the alarm system
  • Requires that repairs begin within one hour of the guard’s response time (after normal closing time)
  • No guard (runner) is dispatched
  • Supervised openings and closing can be arranged, but are not automatic
  • Requires that repairs begin within 18 hours after the alarm company receives notification

Why are UL-Certified alarms essential?

Unlike the perils of smash-and-grab robberies and grab-and-run thefts that are primarily only threats to retailers, burglaries are of major concern to jewelry businesses of all kinds.

There have been instances where nearly all of a jeweler’s inventory was stolen because the alarm did not produce a signal or there was no response after an alarm signal was received.

Having a UL-certified alarm will give you peace of mind that an alarm will signal and that there will be a response to that signal. Additionally, having this level of protection could help your cause when purchasing insurance. Having a current and valid UL certificate is recognized as a risk mitigator, which means you’ll likely receive a more favorable premium, assuming your other risk factors are equal.

AAA Alarms and Fire Protection is able to issue UL Certificates and design/install and service security systems that meet these Standards.


Schools Need Carbon Monoxide Detectors. It’s Not Rocket Science.

In early March, a carbon monoxide (CO) leak coming from a basement boiler room at an elementary school in Dallas, Texas, went unchecked for an entire school day.  Students went home with splitting headaches and, in some cases, were vomiting.  Later that night the administration checked for CO, but, with the boiler presumably shut down after school hours, did not sense the gas.  Fortunately, another check occurred the following morning—during schools hours, with the boiler operating—and detected heightened levels of CO.  Students (840 total) were sent home, and five teachers went to the hospital, including two by ambulance.A quick history lesson shows us that what happened in Dallas was not an isolated incident.  Already this year, middle school students in Rochester, New York, faced high levels of CO when snow blocked a rooftop exhaust vent.  In Colorado Springs, Colorado, a malfunctioning furnace was the culprit.  And in St. Louis, Missouri, students were sent home due to CO emissions from a faulty boiler.  Last year was no different. Illinois, Massachusetts, and Utah all saw students exposed to the deadly gas.  In 2013, it was California and Missouri.  In 2012, schools in Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Utah experienced CO exposure.  All in all, there have been 45 CO exposure incidents at schools in 31 states since January 2008 (by my count).  While this number is, unfortunately, dwarfed by the rate and frequency of residential incidents over the same period, it is also true that more people (i.e., school-aged children) are exposed to a CO leak at school than in the home. It is clear that every school building housing a CO-emitting device (boilers, furnaces, and the like) needs CO detection.

Currently, five states require CO detection in their schools (CA, CT, MD, SC, and UT).  In fairness, it is possible that local ordinances exist at the county and district levels in other states.  And many schools in these and other states, I’m sure, have been proactive in installing detection even though it is not a requirement. This is commendable!  Interestingly, a spokesperson for a San Antonio school district was recently quoted as saying that, unlike homes, schools do not need CO detection because windows and doors are often left open and provide adequate ventilation; and that what happened in Dallas was an anomaly.  Parents of students in Rochester, Colorado Springs, and St. Louis might disagree.

By all accounts, parents in Dallas have raised the issue of CO detection and it sounds like a local group even donated alarms to the school.  This is a fantastic start.  But here’s what people need to know: single-station CO alarms, such as the ones you and I buy at the hardware store for our home, aren’t really meant for installation in a school.  True, those devices are better than having NO protection at all, but a higher level of protection is a CO detection system that connects to a supervised monitoring station.  This type of system is capable of alerting teachers in every classroom or other area of possible CO exposure before CO concentrations reach a dangerous level.  Administration would be notified as well, and with the precise location of the detector closest to the source.  This feature is particularly helpful since boilers and furnaces are typically kept in rooms that are unoccupied and locked, which reduces the likelihood that someone will hear a CO alarm activation coming from inside the room.

While installation standards do not require a detector in each classroom—only in those adjacent or connected via ductwork to a room with a CO source—proper installation requires extensive planning and effort, which is why NEMA encourages state legislators to provide support, instead of leaving this on the shoulders of local and school officials.  School-aged children, as we all know, are not just little adults.  Their bodies are much more susceptible to CO exposure and can sustain lasting damage even before an adult feels any symptoms at all. So why risk a tragedy when the steps are so clear to prevent it?  It’s not rocket science.

Starting in 2019, Rhode Island now requires Carbon Monoxide detection systems in all RI Schools.  Contact AAA Alarms and Fire Protection for a free estimate.

DIY Home Alarm question and answers on our Blog

AAA Alarms has over 30 years experience in the residential / home alarm industry, but has chosen to focus on Commercial and business security and fire alarm systems, in no small part due to the availability of do it yourself alarms and wireless systems that homeowners can now install and monitor themselves. Feel free to ask a question on our blog with a comment and one of our experts will get back to you. If you are having difficulty with your home alarm, or need advice as to the best cameras to buy if you are looking to self install, feel free to comment and we will get back to you.

City of Cranston, RI implementing new Fire Alarm Radio Master Box system.  All Gamewell boxes need updating!

City of Cranston, RI implementing new Fire Alarm Radio Master Box system. All Gamewell boxes need updating!

The City of Cranston has implemented a new Fire Alarm monitoring network of new technology Radio based Master Boxes to replace the old “hard line” turn of the century Gamewell Boxes.   This conversion will allow for more detailed information for specific zones, troubles and alarms to be more effectively and more reliably communicated to the nearest Fire Station located in the city of Cranston.   This conversion is possible with utilizing your existing fire alarm system, but will need radio box purchase and installation of antennas and equipment.  This equipment utilizes a mesh network radio transponder system whereby each facility with a box acts as a repeater for other facilities to build a network of communications for fire alarm signals only.

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