If your community has a public safety communications center, you can improve your Public Protection Classification (PPC®) by monitoring the integrity of your primary dispatch circuit.
Monitoring for integrity involves installing automatic systems that detect faults and failures and send visual and audible indications to appropriate personnel. To receive the credit, you must follow the general criteria of NFPA 1221, Standard for the Installation, Maintenance, and Use of Emergency Communications Systems. The standard defines monitoring for integrity as the “automatic monitoring of circuits and other system components for the existence of defects or faults that interfere with receiving or transmitting an alarm." The best way to be sure your primary dispatch circuit meets national standards is to consider the requirements of NFPA 1221 when designing the system and/or issuing a Request for Proposal (RFP). The standard is available from the National Fire Protection Association, 1 Batterymarch Park, P.O. Box 9101, Quincy, MA 02269-9101.
What you need to monitor
To receive credit for monitoring the primary dispatch circuit, you need an automated system that continuously looks at all components of the circuit, including its power supply. Visual and audible alarm (trouble) signals must alert communications center personnel whenever any component fails. The audible signal should sound again if an additional fault occurs. The visual signal should be on a dedicated display not used for routine dispatching. Appropriate personnel must be on duty and ready to respond whenever the alarm signals activate. Duplicate transmitters must take over in case a radio circuit fails.