Frequently Asked Questions
Who is Central Monitoring Services?
CMS, as we are known, was formed in 1989 by current MD Neville Kiely to provide monitoring for the Security Industry in a professional manner exceeding the then current norm.
By placing value in a service for which the customer felt confident and reassured CMS has grown to be the Industry Leader winning many awards.
Our employees represent on most Industry forums, standards, and bodies ensuring there is a difference between sending an invoice and providing a service.
After 25 years of operation we have employees with hundreds of years of service and as a family business we have many more to come.
What is a monitored alarm system?
Any alarm system installed in your premises can be remotely monitored. This is achieved by connecting a communications device in the alarm panel to report to a Monitoring Centre which is manned 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
The monitoring centre is built and operates to an Australian Standard and is graded by an independent certifying body to ensure compliance.
The way communication occurs can vary but is tailored to the level of security required, the assessment of the risk and the relevant reporting costs.
Most alarms have traditionally reported over the normal telephone line which has been reliably available to every premise in Australia but that is now changing.
How much is an Alarm System?
That definitely depends on the size of the building to be protected, the type and quality of the product installed, the difficulty of the installation and functionality and services you wish to receive.
You will determine the price to meet your requirements and your Insurers may influence the design and thus the price.
Prices range from hundreds of dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.
It is best to know your installer rather than Google your system.
Why have an alarm monitored “Back to Base”?
Monitoring turns “Ordinary Burglar Alarms” into “Complete Security Systems”
Having spent the money to invest in fixtures, furniture, a property or an operating business it makes little sense not to monitor continuously.
Your lifestyle or operating procedures may change but that does not remove the need to be vigilant. You may change the emphasis and use of the alarm but the need remains.
Getting your life and business back to normal as soon as possible is the number one priority.
What can be monitored?
Intrusion, Holdup, Fire, Medical and Equipment status as well as Tracking, Wellbeing and Location can all be monitored.
Technology today allows devices to detect change of state which is set to allow normal operation to be ignored and exceptions to be reported.
The path of transmission to the monitoring centre (CMS) is also changing and varied, tailored for the risk.
It is a good idea, but can’t I do that on my SmartPhone?
At CMS we have two (2) phones to your one and each has three (3) batteries and with five (5) people waiting to answer.
We also have multiple predetermined actions to follow within a controlled environment and a recognised presence.
CMS will also notify you directly events that you can handle or need to know and take the “hard stuff” away from your normal day to day activities.
Surely your security is not just another “SMS” on your phone.
How is the alarm transmitted to CMS?
Most alarms in Australia report over the copper PSTN network.
This is the copper cable connecting you to your local exchange through the pits underground to your premises. The traditional vehicle for voice communications and now ADSL data services has been overlayed on the copper.
The security alarm has reported for many years using a “DTMF” format and has only come under stress recently by lack of maintenance on the copper cable and no new copper is being installed in new areas. ”Other services” like ADSL being transmitted on the same cable can affect the reporting of the alarm system.
An increase in errors and corruption is being seen by alarms reporting in the traditional manner and many users are opting for VOIP (voice over IP) and using that service to transmit the alarm.
Details of these services are listed on this site under monitoring.
What does the NBN mean to me?
This is the greatest single change to you and your communications.
On concept (2010) no thought was put into alarm systems and their communications format and this is still the case in practical terms in June 2013 although a lot of work has been done. You get NBN and your alarm ceases to work.
There will be digital ports allowing voice and data communications as there is now with VOIP technology. This is very similar to what is available now from Telecommunication Companies.
Voice will be accepted in the traditional format, transmitted digitally and reproduced at the receiving end. This will no doubt be far superior quality but whether it gets offered by the RSP (Retail Service Provider) and whether it is affordable is another question.
There will be a requirement for each user to have standby power in the form of battery or UPS or both as unlike the current PSTN on copper the NBN will not work when the power fails.
The availability of the NBN service is currently being rolled out and currently Telstra are required to switch off the PSTN service around two years later. Watch this space.
What do I do if I am considering changing my Internet / Phone Service or connecting to the NBN?
At CMS there is always a predetermined set of actions for every event.
Some of these are CMS Standard Operating Procedures contained in our CMS monitoring booklet provided, some are set by the Authorities around Australia and others are agreed as a part of the monitoring contract.
Each product and service supplied by CMS has its own set of actions but on all occasions we require a minimum of three (3) contacts that are able and willing to carry out the agreed tasks.
A well designed and installed alarm system should provide little trouble and genuine alarms are easily recognised by monitoring centre operators.
Do the Police attend all alarms when requested?
Police around Australia have now prioritised attendance and alarm verification is required for attendance.
There are three priorities with slight variations by each State.
Safety to life high risk, confirmed crime in progress high risk premises and reporting of previous occurred crime. CMS can provide details applicable to your region and risk.
CMS also has dedicated Police phone numbers to call which recognises who is calling and monitors our performance to the applicable rules. These calls are made direct to the Operations Centres and take priority over triple “0” 000 calls.
Do the Fire Brigade and Ambulance Services attend monitored alarms?
CMS will call both Fire Brigade and Ambulance Services once we have an agreed response policy in place.
Currently both services will attend irrespective of the call but charges may be incurred for false alarms.
It is also recognised that access is required to the premises and a call to the Fire Brigade gives them the right to gain entry in whatever way possible.
Of course lack of access for the Ambulance Service could mean tragic consequences.
Do CMS provide Patrol / Guard response?
Yes we do. CMS do not have our own mobile patrol service but we select the most appropriate Company for the area or region. Most operatives do!
Once again there needs to be an agreed set of rules in place for the use of these responses as there is normally an additional cost involved.
What area do CMS cover?
Technology today places no boundaries on monitoring of alarms.
CMS monitors clients all over Australia and the Pacific Region where a Company has its headquarters in Australia and requires a single procedural system.
Installation, service and patrol response are provided on a regional basis through our network of Dealers and Clients with their own security arrangements.
Are CMS Staff licenced?
Yes, we hold a Master Licence #401 988 582 and all operative staff have individual licences and training to meet their job requirement.
Is CMS Monitoring Centre graded?
AS/NZS 2201.2 – 2004 Monitoring centres is the current Australian Standard.
CMS is graded to the highest grade 1 operational level.
This is achieved by managing the correct amount of operators to the traffic being processed, the duplication of equipment to ensure any failure is replaced automatically and repaired tomorrow and the backup of power and duplicated communication paths to negate any outside of our control influences.
Monitoring of your alarm is that important to us!
Our MD currently sits on the Australian Standard writing the input and interpreting for the Industry.
How long has CMS been operating?
CMS was started in June 1989.
2014 celebrates our 25 years of operation.
Do CMS provide Loan Worker monitoring?
In 2013 we commenced services for Loan Workers.
This has many extensions for individuals, persons at risk due to violence and equipment tracking.
Once again, the CMS experience will select the best product tailored with the proven monitoring expertise.
There is no “one product fits all” solution.
Have CMS won any Awards?
Yes many. Please see Awards on this website.