This Help File Page was last Modified on 01/15/2017
Processing Alarm Signals
This Help File Page was last Modified on 01/15/2017
Processing Alarm Signals
This Help File Page was last Modified on 01/15/2017
❑How are Alarm Signals distributed to the available (Processing) Workstations?
➢Note: By definition, a Workstation is any computer which may be used by an Operator or Central Station Supervisor to connect to the MKMSDefault database and run the MKMSCS application.
•The Alarm Stack assigns the Order in which the Alarm Signal should be Processed based on the Priority Level of the signal's Alarm Condition Code, the Alarm Processing Group to which the Subscriber who transmitted the Alarm Signal is assigned, and the Date and Time when the Alarm Signal was received by SPA.
•Once SPA inserts an Alarm Signal into the Alarm Stack for Processing it is available to a qualified Operator at any Workstation running MKMSCS that has activated the Processing function, or any Workstation that has access to the Alarm Stack display from which an Alarm Signal may be manually selected for Processing.
✓A Qualified Operator is one that has the Skills and also - where required - has been assigned to the Alarm Group that has permission to respond to the Alarm Signal from the Subscriber whose signal is pending in the Alarm Stack.
•The Manual Alarm Entry function also requires that SPA is actively running because a Manually Entered Alarm Signal must also be interpreted in the same manner as it would if it was an Alarm Signal sent from an actual Receiver.
❑How are Alarms Signals actually Processed?
•Operator Guided Responses - The UL® 1981 CLASSIFIED (and Non-UL) Central Station Monitoring modules provide an Operator Guided Response for all known (predefined) Alarm Signals - on a Subscriber by Subscriber, and signal by signal basis.
✓This Operator Guided Response for the processing of Alarm Signals "walks" the Operator through each required step, assuring the proper completion of each required step, executing them in the proper order, and so virtually assures that each signal - regardless of which steps are needed - is handled correctly.
✓A tab will be displayed on the Signal Processing screen indicating that the current Alarm Signal is being processed using the Operator Guided Response method.
✓As each step is completed, a notation is automatically recorded in the Signal History table.
✓The many predefined Operator accessible Codes, Notes and Actions make documenting of each of these steps consistent, accurate and so they will be professionally notated.
•Action Plan Responses - Customized Action Plans for the Processing of Alarm Signals may also be created, and, if assigned to the Alarm Signal being processed:
✓An Action Plan List will be displayed on the Signal Processing screen showing the Operator all of the Action Steps that will be required to properly handle the current Alarm Signal.
✓An Action Plan tab will be displayed on the Signal Processing screen describing for the Operator the currently required Action Step.
✓A predefined Dialog may also be displayed on the Signal Processing screen to tell the Operator exactly what he/she should say when speaking to a Contact during a Verification, Dispatch, or Notification procedure.
✓As with all Alarm Signals, when each Action Step is completed, a notation is automatically recorded in the Signal History table.
❑Start Processing Alarms: When the current Workstation in not available to Process Alarm Signals, as shown in the illustration below, the MKMSCS logo appears in the top left of the Desktop.
Signal Processing lighted button indicates that this is an active alarm processing Workstation
•The Micro Key Solutions™ Globe Icon (see the mouse pointer in the top illustration above and below) on the top left of the MKMSCS Central Station Monitoring dialog will change structure and intermittently flash Amber and Green (see the mouse pointer in the illustration immediately above and below) to indicate that this is an active alarm processing Workstation.
•To terminate the Signal Processing mode at this Workstation, Press the F9 function key, or Click the Processing Icon on the Shortcuts bar, again.
✓If the current Signal Processing Operator is the last Operator who is Processing Alarm Signals for a specific Alarm Group (i.e., Alarm Signals received from any Subscriber assigned to that Alarm Group can not be processed), an Exit Confirmation message will be displayed indicating that this situation exists.
There will be no more operators processing signals in your alarm group.
Are you sure you wish to close the processing form?
▪Answer Yes to exit anyway (knowing a particular Alarm Group set of Accounts will no longer be able to be processed), or No to continue Processing Alarm Signals (until an Operator who is qualified to process those Accounts is available).
✓Then, if this Operator is not a Central Station Supervisor (as defined in the Central Station sub-tab on the Security tab of the Employees Form), the Operator must have their Central Station Supervisor give permission for a System Log Out by providing that Supervisor's Supervisor Name and Supervisor Password (the combination which that Supervisor uses to Log In to the system).
System Log Out - Supervisor's OK
❑Acknowledging the Alarm Signal:
•Assuming that the Processing function is active at the Operator's Workstation, the Alarm Signal just appears on screen, announced with an Alert message and the sounding of an Incoming Signal warning tone.
✓Specifically, the Signal Pending... message will be displayed and the appropriate Alarm Sound heard.
Signal Pending alert
✓Acknowledging an Alarm - To acknowledge an Alarm Signal the Operator may do any of the following:
a.Press the <Space Bar>, or
b.Press 8 Enter, or
c.Click the OK button.
✓Performing any of these actions indicates that this Operator is prepared to accept an incoming Alarm Signal.
•Recent Alarm Signal Activity Reminder - If there has been recent Alarm Signal Activity on this Account (CSID), you may request that this Alarm History be displayed.
➢Note: To turn on this Recent Alarm Signal Activity Reminder function,
b)The time frame since the last alarm was received must be set.
User Options Form - Central Station Options tab - Alerts sub-tab - Operator Alert setup
➢Otherwise, the Recent Alarm Signal Activity Reminder function described below will not be active.
Answer Yes to have the Signal History Form displayed
✓If you Click the Yes button (or Press 8 Enter), the Alarm History Form for this Account will be displayed.
Previous Signal History for incoming alarm
✓You may Click the No button to skip this Alarm History look up step.
✓Once an Alarm History Form is displayed, the Operator must Click the Close box to exit the Alarm History Form to continue Processing the Alarm Signal.
•Subscriber has Other Signals On Hold - If there other signal(s) On Hold for this Account, you may request to review them.
Answer Yes to display the Signal On Hold Form
✓If you Click the Yes button (or Press 8 Enter), the Signals On Hold Form for this Account will be displayed.
Signals On Hold Form
✓You may Click the No button to skip viewing this Signals On Hold Form.
✓Once a Signals On Hold Form is displayed, the Operator must Click the Close box to exit the Signals On Hold Form to continue Processing the Alarm Signal.
•Temp Notes - If there is an active Temp Note for the Subscriber whose Alarm Signal is currently being displayed on the Signal Processing Form, that Temp Note Form will be displayed when the Alarm Signal is presented with any Active Notes shown in Bold.
Active Temp Note (within Date & Time range for display) boldly displayed
✓Click the Close box to exit the Temp Notes Form and return to the Signal Processing Form.
✓If this Alarm Signal had been previously Placed On Hold, that reminder will be displayed.
❑Understanding the Signal Processing Form's Header Information:
•Date & Time - The Date and Time of when this Alarm Signal was sent to SPA.
•Incident # - The Signal History record number assigned to this Alarm Signal.
•CSID - The Central Station assigned Identification Digits
•Signal ID - The Signal Identifier for this Alarm Signal.
•Zone - If included in the transmission, the Physical Zone Code for this Alarm Signal.
•Zone Description and other alarm event data - This may include Notes, special information, and/or a Description of the CSID Zone defined for this Alarm Signal.
•Action: The set of Action Option buttons available to the Operator while Processing an Alarm Signal.
Action Option buttons
❑Understanding the Signal Processing Form's Special Fields and Look Up Icons:
•There are several special Fields and Look Up buttons (circled below in orange for illustration purposes only) contained in an Info box located next to the Subscriber's Address information on the Signal Processing Form:
Special Fields and Look Up Buttons on the Signal Processing Form
oClick the Password Icon to see a list of all active Pass Codes associated with this Account.
➢Note: For information about Using the Pass Codes for... dialog for locating and verifying a Passcode see the Verify Passwords chapter.
▪Action Plan - By default, "No Action Plan Defined". If an Action Plan has been assigned to this Alarm Event, the name of the current Action Step will be displayed
▪O/C Status: - The current Status of this Account, if it is being Supervised.
▪UL Grade: - If this account has been issued a UL® Certificate, this is the UL® Grade of that certificate.
▪Keys Held? - This box will be Checked if your Company holds the Keys to this Premises.
✓Look Up Icons: - There are several Look Up Icons that may be displayed on the Signal Processing screen and will - as needed - provide access to additional information to the Operator.
oClick the Dealer Look Up button to the left of the Dealer field and Select whether you want to:
a.Display information about this Dealer. (To view the full content of the Notes and/or Comments, Double-Click the Comments and/or Test Notes fields to open a Read Only Edit Rich Text dialog.)
b.Call dealer at - This option will display the telephone number of the Dealer (be selecting the second Dealer Search Menu option illustrated above).
▪Panel - This is the Control Panel identified for this Subscriber in the Subscriber Panel(s) section of the Central Station Data Form.
oClick the Panel Look Up button and Select whether you want to view the:
a.Panel Instructions information the Control Panel
b.Panel Documents with information available for the Subscriber's Control Panel
oClick the Security. Look Up button and Select whether you want to:
a.Display the Security Company's information.
b.Call the contact at the Security Company using the Telephone Number shown (see the second Security Menu's Option illustrated above).
❑Other Information boxes - There are five information boxes immediately below the Special Fields and Look Up Icons explained above.
•Subject - If an Action Plan is directing the Signal Processing steps, and the current Action Step has a Subject entry (see the Subject field illustration below), it will be shown in the Subject line.
✓Subject - The Subject is a brief description of this Action Step which is displayed for the Operator.
✓Content - The box immediately below the Subject line will contain any special script - the Content (see the Content field illustration below) - which needs to be communicated to whomever the Operator is speaking.
Action Plan's - Action Step - Properties dialog - Subject line - Content script
•Cross Street - This is the Crossing Street that is the closest to the Subscriber's premises
•Related Signals - This box contains the list of any Related Pending, Waiting, or On Hold Signals for this Account that are of equal or less importance (Priority Level) than the currently displayed Signal.
❑Process & Information tabs:
✓Some of these tabs will only be present when it is time to use them, or displayed only when there is actual data to be viewed (or entered) within a particular Process & Information tab.
•Notes & Current Signal's History - As a Signal is processed by an Operator, the Current Signal's History box - located within the Notes tab (see the Notes chapter for additional information) - is updated in real time with the Operator's Actions and any Notes entered by the Operator.
Signal Processing Form - Notes tab with Note enter inserted into the Current Signal's History section
❑Processing the Alarm Signal:
1.Verification - Telephone the Subscriber's Premises in an attempt to Verify whether the Alarm Signal is False, or is apparently Valid and requires a Dispatch.
•Once an Alarm Signal has been acknowledged, and any recent Signal History examined, the Signal Processing Form will be displayed - using either the Operator Guided Response format or the Action Plan format - containing all of the necessary information related to the current signal or event.
✓Operator Guided Response format example:
Signal Processing Form with Operator Guided Response tab
Alarm Information box indicating an Action Plan is in effect
1.A statement in the Alarm Information box at the top of the Signal Processing screen indicating that this Alarm Signal will be Processed using an Action Plan.
Action Plan - Action Plans & Alarm Details tabs
2.A vertical set of Action Plans and Alarm Detail tabs on left where an entry is inserted into the Alarm Detail tab (and into the Alarm Signal History) indicating that Action Plan ## was initiated.
Signal Processing Form with Actions Plans (list) & Alarm Detail tabs
3.A Switch to Manual option at the top of the vertical set of Action Plans and Alarm Detail tabs, and an Action Plan tab where to Operator Guided Response tab is normally shown.
•If Verification is required, the Verification dialog will be displayed automatically.
•If this is a Operator Guided Response step that tab will appear, Click the Call Primary button to initiate Verification procedure.
Operator Guided Response - Verification dialog
•If this is an Action Plan step, the Action Plans tab will appear and the Call Premises sub-tab (and if a Note is required, the Notes sub-tab) will be activated.
Action Plan - Call Premises - Verification dialog (with Note field)
❑Dispatch - Contact the Responding Authorities.
•If a Dispatch is required, the Dispatch dialog will be displayed automatically.
✓PD Permit Number: - This is the Permit or Registration Number for the Burglar Alarm System installed at this Account.
✓FD Permit Number: - This is the Permit or Registration Number for the Fire Alarm System installed at this Account.
•Assuming that you have implemented Automatic Dialing, Click the Dispatch button to automatically dial the proper - predefined - responding authority.
❑Notification - If the Operator has attempted to Verify the Alarm Signal (if required) and subsequently Dispatched the proper authorities (if required), a person defined in the Subscriber's People to Call list should be notified that this event has occurred and told of the steps that the Operator has taken.
•If a Notification is required:
✓The Contacts tab will be displayed automatically.
Signal Processing Form - Contacts tab - General sub-tab active - Dial Icon
✓Select the appropriate Contact
✓Click the Dial Icon to initiate a telephone call to that Contact.
❑Completion - The Signal Options tab provides all of the functions to Complete and alarm (or place an alarm On Hold).
Signal Processing Form - Operator Guided Response tab - Signal Options sub tab - Hold Options & Reschedule Event boxes - Resolution field
❑Process & Data tabs - there are several Process & Data tabs on the Signal Processing Form that provide access to additional functions and information that may be required by an Operator, from time to time, while processing an Alarm Signal.
•Not all tabs will appear on all Processing screens.
•Press the Alternate Key and the Title's underlined letter of any Process & Data tab or keyboard commend (e.g., Alt+L) - at the same time - to display that Process & Data tab.
❑Converting to Manual Mode - Manual Mode allows the Operator to switch to the Operator Guided Response user interface.
•If an Action Plan is active, and the Operator needs to exit from the control of that Action Plan, Click the Switch to Manual button above the Action Plans tab, or Press Ctrl+Shift+M.
•Click the Yes button to Confirm the switch to Manual Mode.
Operator Guided Response view with Signal Options tab activated
➢Note 1: Normally, while an Operator is Processing an Alarm, and the processing of that Signal is being guided by an Action Plan, and (s)he must put that Signal On Hold, when that Signal is retrieved from the Alarm Stack for further processing, processing will revert to the Operator Guided Response methodology. However, if the RestartActionPlanFromOnHold option in the Company Setting tab on the Users Options Form is set to True ("T"), the processing guidance will revert to the beginning step defined in that Action Plan (see Note 2 below).
1.This assumes that the RestartActionPlanFromOnHold option is set to False ("F") meaning that:
b.That Signal must by Placed On Hold, then
2.However, if this RestartActionPlanFromOnHold option is set to True ("T"),
a.Processing will revert to the first step defined in that Action Plan, and
b.Processing continues as an Action Plan controlled Signal until Completion, or again being Placed On Hold.
✓In addition to the Operator Guided Response tab, the Floor Plan and Areas tabs will be displayed if this data has been entered for the current Subscriber.
✓The Contacts, Notes, Temp Notes If any are current), and Signal Options tabs may now be accessed, as needed.
Signal Processing screen - after converting to Operator Guided Response (using Switch to Manual button) - also still showing the Action Plans tab
✓Although the Operator Interface switches to Operator Guided Response, the vertical Action Plans Tab will still be displayed for reference.