The National Fire Protection Association recently approved wireless products for commercial sites as a way to alert emergency control centers of a fire on the premises under section 26.6.3.1 of NFPA 72. The 2010 edition of the code requires that a secondary means to transfer alarm data be installed in case of wired service disruption, according to Shawn Welsh, a Telular vice president. Telular offers a TG-7F UL-certified cellular alarm communicator that conforms to the latest NFPA 72 "in that it will now allow a commercial fire system to be monitored via a single cellular connection," Welsh said.

Telular's cellular alarm communicator functions as a backup alarm. When communication is not available over the telephone line, the device switches the host alarm system's communication to the digital cellular network. All alarms are then transmitted via secure digital cellular — as if the signal had been conveyed over the telephone line offsite — to the company's monitoring stations, Welsh said. This ensures critical data will reach the designated monitoring station during an emergency, he said.

"We supervise that connection between our units and our stations once every five minutes, which meets the standard in the code," Welch said.

Standard features include full data reporting, an automatic self-test (daily, weekly or monthly) and an alarm format support for contact ID. Welch added the company also offers a TG-8 version, which includes E911 emergency phone service, dual-band cellular and PCS.