On August 1, 2018, AvantGuard Monitoring received a Factory Mutual (FM) Approval certificate, further legitimizing its central station monitoring operations. It attests to AvantGuard’s ability to protect lives and property, supporting its mission to provide first-rate service to the dealers it partners with. Third party evaluation, among many things, ensures that the technology and processes implemented in AvantGuard’s system will operate as it needs to.
FM Approval And Central Station Monitoring
An FM Approval runs along the same vein as a UL Listing because they both inspect companies to ensure safety for consumers. According to the FM website, it “is the independent testing division of FM Global, and it focuses on researching and testing all products to ensure that they meet only the highest standards for property loss prevention and safety.”
An FM Approval is important for a central station monitoring provider to have because it demonstrates a focus on the safety of subscriber lives and property. In the end, there is no greater purpose or mission for a central station.
The Certification Process
The process to earn an FM Approval consists of a five step process. The steps include:
- A manufacturer Request
- Proposal issue and manufacturer authorization
- Review, testing & first audit
- Report, FM Approved Mark and Listing
- Surveillance audits
A Manufacturer Request
First, in AvantGuard’s case, the manufacturer is the central station. Its request was sent to FM Approval for review. It includes information such as the scope of work provided by the central station, technical specifications and sales literature that describes what services are provided.
Proposal Issue And Manufacturer Authorization
After FM Approvals receives the request, they respond with a proposal letter including information about the evaluative process, cost estimates, a schedule for completion and the tests it will need to perform in order to evaluate the central station.
Review, testing & first audit
Once the proposal has been accepted, a representative makes an on-site visit to review all quality control procedures. In addition, it will use its evaluation of the on-site visit and compare it to other central stations as a sort of precedence for approved methodology.
Report, FM Approved Mark and Listing
After the testing is successfully completed, an FM Approval report about the central station visit and testing is prepared and reviewed. This review examines the technical accuracy and overall quality of the testing and results from the visit. Then, FM Approvals sends a final report with results to the central station.
After the approval is given to the central station, it agrees to receive surveillance visits in order to ensure that the FM Approval status is properly maintained throughout its tenure.