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Maintaining UL Certification Through Hybrid Monitoring

Alex Flitton
Apr 4, 2018 3:22:05 PM

UL Certification Updates

October of 2016, Underwriters Laboratories updated its certification requirements for central stations, raising the bar on standards and causing service providers to make course corrections. 

(Found in UL 827 and UL 1981)

New Requirements For Redundancy

One of the ways dealers with in-house central stations are feeling the strain is in new requirements for redundancy. They are based on something called a “MEW factor” which is considers subscriber count and alarm type. It requires central stations with a MEW factor greater than 100,000 to have hot redundant failover capabilities. This update alone provides unique challenges, accelerating the rate at which dealers need to invest in new technologies and expand their operations.

(Learn how to calculate your MEW factor at the bottom)

A core challenge with the new regulations is it requires many central stations to invest in redundant capabilities and additional backup servers. For dealers with a MEW factor past certain thresholds, it means making a significant investment that yields little direct return. In our white paper on alternative monitoring partnerships, we calculated the potential cost of self-funding a redundant location, and the result is staggering. The cost alone can push alarm providers to get innovative in their approach.

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A unique way dealers can achieve full redundancy and get UL-listed is through a hybrid monitoring partnership. This unique approach allows dealers with in-house central stations to expand their monitoring infrastructure without having to make a multi-million-dollar investment. It gives them immediate access to Stages, the leading alarm-automation software and adds two additional central stations to their redundancy/failover lineup. On top of that, a hybrid relationship doesn’t reduce the local-feel service that subscribers receive. In fact, it further solidifies the reliability of that service and extends the level of trust subscribers can have.

How to Calculate Your MEW Factor


Take the sum of the following:

  • Total number of residential monitored accounts x 0.333
  • Number of inactive commercial monitored accounts x 1 
  • Number of supervised commercial intrusion alarm systems with monitored open/close x 3

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