Fire monitoring system to end



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Posted on May 15, 2014 at 11:19 PM

A Tukwila Motel, some Bothell condos and possibly scores of other Seattle area buildings are currently using an antiquated fire monitoring system called Scan Alert.  The system will be shut down at the end of this week.

“It means the transmitter that automatically sends a signal to the fire department so we get a fast response it won't be functional,” said Redmond Assistant Fire Marshal Todd Short.

Short said if owners fail to switch out Scan Alert, each building may have to go on 24/7 fire watch.

“They would need someone there that could provide that phone in capability to let us know so we can respond with the right amount of engines,” explained Short.

CenturyLink, the company that maintains the Scan Alert system, notified the public over the span of a year that the system would be going away.  Many in the alarm industry wonder how people didn't get the message.

“Some of that will fall on the alarm dealers and some of that will fall on the customers that didn't realize the urgency and wanted to wait until it was absolutely necessary.  But it happened,” said Margaret Spitznas, president of the Washington Electronic Security Association.

Spitznas said it’s up to you to ask you apartment or condo management if they've switched out Scan Alert.

I learned the Jet Inn Motel is still on Scan Alert, so I stopped by to ask when they’re making the change.  The manager Gene said he hoped to get it fixed as soon as possible.

Two buildings in Bothell at the Ross Road condo's are on Scan Alert.  Property manager Jeff Kirkman told me he didn’t know anything about Scan Alert.

“Luckily you called us and let us know about it so we immediately called up the vendor who is taking care of that property and they're going to fix it,” said Kirkman.

Kirkman said he recently took over the Ross Road condos.  The vendor didn't know who to call but now they've made contact.

“We're trying to now of course catch up with this because this is a big issue.  It's a life-fire, issue,” said Kirkman.