Runaway Accounts

Integrated Fire SystemsFire Alarm News

What are Runaway Accounts and How Does IFS Respond to Them?

In order for a fire alarm system to be in proper working order, it needs to be monitored. Monitoring allows for us and our central stations to dispatch on, track, and manage your fire alarm system. The monitoring process is extremely important because your fire alarm system is only as efficient as your monitoring team. This is because, your systems Central Station is who sends the fire department to your facility in the event of a fire.

How Does IFS Monitor Your System?

Here at IFS we monitor hundreds of fire alarm systems. Every morning our office reviews the fire alarm signals from all of our monitored systems. This review process ensures that your system is sending signals in the event of a fire and life safety emergency.

These signals are in a report that includes details of any issues that occurred in the past 24 hours. Our Client Services Administrator follows up with the sites that reports issues to see if service is needed.

For more information about how our monitoring process works, check out our blog post Monitoring Fire Alarms.

What are Runaway Accounts?

A Runaway Account is a monitoring account that is sending an excessive amount of signals to the Central Station. This is not good because per our contract with our Central Station, we are only allowed a certain number of signals before extra charges occur. These charges get passed onto the customer. If left alone it can add up very quickly to thousands of dollars.

Aside from the hefty cost of Runaway Accounts, they can also cause stress to your system. Having a ton of signals coming through on your system causes a burden in the event that a fire occurs at your facility.

Some of the common signals for Runaway Accounts are:

  • Ground Faults
  • Bad Devices
  • Weather (rain, snow, wind, etc.)
  • Construction
How Does IFS Respond to Runaway Accounts?

Here at IFS, our goal is to not have to charge our customers Runaway Accounts fees. To do this, our staff reviews the monitoring reports for all of our monitored customers daily. When our Client Services Admin reviews these reports, and we see that there is a Runaway Account we offer the customer Emergency Service. With Emergency Service, our Technician can go out to your site and try and resolve the issue that day. If the Technician cannot resolve the issue that day, they will get the signal to stop. And then go back at a later day to resolve the issue.

Sometimes, Construction causes Runaway Accounts. If that is the case, your account could be a Runaway Account for months. In the event of construction, we can work with TMS to not have the charges accrue. But, this is a special scenario that needs to be discussed with all parties prior to the construction starting.

If you have any questions about Runaway Accounts, give our office a call at 888-987-5322.

-The IFS Team