Custom Alarm of Rochester, Minn., ranked No. 84 on the SDM 100, has renewed the “TMA Five Diamond Monitoring Center” designation. This designation is granted annually to monitoring centers that satisfy all of the requirements of TMA’s five points of excellence: 

  • commitment to ongoing job-related education and testing by having 100 percent  of its monitoring center operators certified using the TMA online training series on industry best practices;
  • commitment to random inspections and quality criteria standards by a nationally recognized testing laboratory such as FM Approvals, Intertek/ETL and UL;
  • commitment to raising the industry standards through TMA membership and participation in its activities;
  • commitment to reducing false dispatches; and 
  • commitment to the highest levels of customer service. 

The TMA Five Diamond designation means, in particular, that a monitoring company has demonstrated an exceptionally high degree of responsibility to their local community and their customers through the investment of time, money and commitment to quality operator training. 

The TMA Monitoring Center Operator course covers virtually all phases of monitoring center communications with customers, police, fire and emergency services communications centers. In order to achieve the Five Diamond designation, each operator must not only pass the course, but demonstrate: 

  • proficiency in the alarm confirmation process, which helps reduce false alarms; 
  • proficiency in communications with Public Service Answering Points, such as the Emergency 911 centers; 
  • knowledge of electronic communications equipment, including, cellular, radio and Internet communication systems; 
  • an understanding of the codes and standards of such organizations as Underwriters Laboratories, Factory Mutual, the National Fire Protection Association and others; and 
  • proficiency in the area of emergency preparedness under a wide scenario of possibilities. 

Of the approximately 2,700 monitoring centers in the U.S. that communicate and interact with police, fire and emergency services agencies, fewer than 200 monitoring centers have achieved the Five Diamond designation, setting these companies apart.