7 FAQ’s About the Changes to UL

The changes to UL 1981 and UL 827 affect the monitoring industry in different ways. While a small or proprietary monitoring center may not be affected at all, larger centers monitoring thousands of accounts may need to make significant changes to comply with UL requirements. Here are seven things you should know about UL 1981 Revision 3 and UL 827 8th Edition:

Q) Why are these changes happening?
UL 1981 sets requirements for alarm monitoring software, while UL 827 places standards on physical buildings and hardware. Over the last decade, technology advances, including virtual machines, and overlaps between the two standards created ambiguity and conflicts that required addressing. UL 1981 Revision 3 and UL 827 8th Edition solve these conflicts and better define the separation between them.

Corporate Health – The Pros and Cons of Employee Relationships

(This is the eight in a monthly series about Corporate Health, where we examine different methods and ideas for improving efficiency, your company culture, and employee morale.)

Employee relationships in the workplace is a polarized subject. For every article about the problems and issues that it causes, there are an equal number of articles praising the benefits of strong employee engagement and camaraderie.

Employee fraternization isn’t just romantic relationships; it also includes friendships that develop within the workplace. The first thing to understand is that friendships between colleagues cannot be avoided. Co-workers already have one thing in common, their employer, to build a relationship upon, and it doesn’t take long to find other commonalities in their personal lives.

How Monitoring Centers Can Reduce False Alarms

by Josh Tafoya, Technical Trainer

We are all in the alarm business. Here at Bold, we provide software and services to the monitoring center. There are commercial monitoring centers, from very small to very large. There are proprietary monitoring centers serving their own clients. There are governmental organizations and law enforcement agencies. The entire extended Bold family is over 590 monitoring centers strong.

The one issue we all must manage is false alarms. I can’t think of a monitoring center that doesn’t have to contend with them. To some, false alarms are a minor annoyance. For whatever reason, they have little impact on the monitoring center. This isn’t related to the size of the monitoring center or even necessarily to the type of customers.

Corporate Health – Employee Perks That Won’t Break the Budget

(This is the seventh in a monthly series about Corporate Health, where we examine different methods and ideas for improving efficiency, your company culture, and employee morale.)

Employee perks. The words alone can strike a certain amount of dread into company owners and managers. After all, Fortune 500 companies have made the term synonymous with lavish business expenses, such as climbing walls, fitness rooms, daycare centers, full tuition reimbursement, and other costly effects.

While the employees who receive them appreciate these perks, they are certainly not an option for all companies to offer. The good news is, affordable perks are equally as appreciated by employees. Here are some things you can offer your staff at little or no cost to you:

Bold Product Spotlight: BoldNet Neo/BoldNet Mobile

If you’ve ever though mobile technology was only a small part of our lives, consider this new information from Pew Research:

  • Over three quarters of Americans (77%) now own a smartphone. That’s more than double the number reported in 2011.
  • Ownership of smart phones is growing quickly among older generations. Now, 74% of adults 50 and older are smartphone users, up 16 percent since 2015.
  • The popularity of tablets is on the rise too, with 51% of Americans owning a tablet, up from 3% just seven years ago.

How Floorplans Can Improve Campus Safety

In the years since Columbine, school safety has changed dramatically. Schools have more measures in place to protect their students and faculty, such as controlled access, metal detectors, and cameras. While these safety measures are helpful, it is important to add an extra layer to improve campus safety by tying these isolated safety measures together. In the current climate, many school districts and universities are utilizing alarm monitoring software or Physical Security Incident Management (PSIM) software to integrate multiple unconnected security applications and devices. Using alarm monitoring or PSIM software enables schools to better assess potential issues or threats and to proactively resolve security concerns.

What’s Under the Hood of Your Alarm Automation System?

by Rod Coles, President/CEO

I remember buying my first car: it was a 1967 Austin Maxi; I paid £100 for it. Before I paid out my money, I looked it up and down and then I looked under the hood. To me, it looked like a mechanical mess, but my Dad explained what all the various parts were, and what was good and not so good about the engine. Since that time, I have purchased a few more modern cars, and the engines have become more advanced, but each time I have looked under the hood checking the basics, like the first time.

Training Spotlight – “That’s The Way We’ve Always Done It”

by guest blogger Caryn Morgan, Bold Technologies

Why is it that when I ask people why they do things the way they do it I often get the response, “that’s the way we’ve always done it?”

As a trainer for over 30 years, I get this answer nearly everywhere I go. Working in the alarm industry for pushing two decades, alarm operators often find themselves having to defend the work they do when angry customers call in complaining they made mistakes. This phrase is the quickest way to shift blame away from themselves and onto the company. That and “I was never trained.”

Training Spotlight – The Power of General Schedules

By Josh Tafoya, Technical Trainer

Using General Schedules can save time and reduce errors. It’s a powerful tool, and when you understand it, you may end up using it all the time. I’ve been training on its use for years, and most places I train, the operations staff appreciate learning about such a useful tool.

There are five different types of General Schedules. I’ll discuss each here, and give some examples of situations where they might be used. If there is enough feedback, I can go further in-depth and give detailed examples with steps in future blog posts.

Manitou Cloud Services and the UL Inspection

by Josh Tafoya, Technical Trainer

I recently had a conversation with one of our customers regarding the UL inspection they underwent as part of their move onto Manitou Cloud Services. I was curious about any challenges or surprises, and how the process went in general. (For confidentiality, I’ll be writing in generalities. So when I mention “he” or “they,” I’m referring to this customer.)

This customer existed as a call center before Manitou Cloud Services, and they are new to Alarm Monitoring. They felt that the capital outlay required to purchase servers may have prevented them from entering the monitoring market previously. But the low up-front cost of Manitou Cloud Services removed those barriers, allowing them to focus on all parts of their business without having to concentrate on the management and upkeep of the servers.