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Four Benefits of OPEN ACCESS™

As technology and Fire Codes have been updated over the past several years, the importance of ULC fire alarm and sprinkler system monitoring has been emphasized among Fire Departments and building owners.  As a result, those that are responsible for fire safety are becoming increasingly knowledgeable about what goes into CAN/ULC-S561 fire alarm monitoring installations and equipment, as well as the communication methods used.  However, what many don’t know is that OPEN ACCESS™ provides a faster and more reliable service that still offers CAN/ULC-S561 compliance.

How Does OPEN ACCESS™ Work?

OPEN ACCESS™ fire alarm monitoring electronically transmits data to the appropriate emergency response dispatch centre, resulting in reduced emergency response times.  This means that OPEN ACCESS™ works in tandem with Underwriters Laboratories listed monitoring centres to aid in the dispatch of the fire department.  In this scenario, fire alarms still arrive at the Underwriters Laboratories listed monitoring centre the same way however, OPEN ACCESS™ recognizes the fire alarm signal and immediately delivers them directly into the correct fire department’s Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system.


Here are four benefits that OPEN ACCESS™ fire alarm and sprinkler monitoring offers over traditional monitoring.

CAN/ULC-S561 Compliance

OPEN ACCESS™ fire alarm and sprinkler monitoring is fully compliant with the CAN/ULC-S561 fire alarm monitoring standard referenced in the Fire Code.  This standard states that fire alarm signals are required to be reported to the Fire Department within 30 seconds without verification.  By utilizing electronic transmission of alarm signals, OPEN ACCESS™ can be used to satisfy this time requirement and eliminates the opportunity to verify an alarm before dispatching.


OPEN ACCESS™ has been independently proven to reduce fire department response times for fire monitoring systems by up to 2 full minutes.  In a traditional non-direct Underwriters Laboratories listed fire monitoring situation, an alarm signal is sent to a monitoring station, which must be manually handled by an operator.  That operator must pick up the phone, dial the Fire Department and verbally report the fire alarm and building information to a Fire Department dispatcher.  The Fire Department Dispatcher must then manually enter the information into the CAD in order to dispatch the trucks.

Through OPEN ACCESS™ pre-verified data is electronically sent into the CAD system, which reduces the timeline of the entire process.  When you consider that a fire doubles in size every minute after the first four minutes, it’s clear that improving response times by two-minutes can significantly improve the chances of mitigating property damage and loss of lives.

OPEN ACCESS™ Is More Reliable

As outlined in the previous section, traditional UL/ULC fire alarm monitoring is made up of many steps, which are subject to human error.  Miscommunication of data between the monitoring station and the Fire Department, or errors in typing or data can all lead to costly time delays and even the dispatch of trucks to the wrong address.  Since
OPEN ACCESS™ data is all pre-verified with the Fire Department, the chances of these human errors are significantly reduced.

Minimal Investment Required

OPEN ACCESS™ can partner with any Fire Department using a variety of automation platforms, including (but not limited to):

  • Symposium
  • Crisys
  • Hexagon

The only piece of equipment that will be added is a compact receiver supplied by OPEN ACCESS™ for signal transmissions and redundancy.

The costs for adding OPEN ACCESS™ to your Fire Department are borne by OPEN ACCESS™.  This includes all hardware, installation, and the applicable communication costs.  The only cost not included is the development costs from the Fire Department CAD.  It’s important to note that all of these costs are one-time fees, there is no on-going costs for the Fire Department.

Contact Us

open access logo imageAs you can see there are many benefits to moving your ULC fire monitoring to an OPEN ACCESS™ set up.  If you have questions about OPEN ACCESS™, call us at 1 877 684 8970, email, or fill out the contact form below.

Contact Us

Call 1 877 684 8970

1235 Bay Street, Suite #400
Toronto, ON
M5R 3K4

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