7 FAQ’s About the Changes to UL

image of several video security monitors

The changes to UL 1981 and UL 827 affect the monitoring industry in different ways. While a small or proprietary monitoring center may not be affected at all, larger centers monitoring thousands of accounts may need to make significant changes to comply with UL requirements. Here are seven things you should know about UL 1981 Revision 3 and UL 827 8th Edition:

Q) Why are these changes happening?
UL 1981 sets requirements for alarm monitoring software, while UL 827 places standards on physical buildings and hardware. Over the last decade, technology advances, including virtual machines, and overlaps between the two standards created ambiguity and conflicts that required addressing. UL 1981 Revision 3 and UL 827 8th Edition solve these conflicts and better define the separation between them.

Q. When does my monitoring center need to be compliant?
All UL-listed monitoring centers must be compliant with all changes to UL 1981 Revision 3 and UL 827 8th Edition by July 31st, 2018.

Q. What are some of the biggest changes?
The standards have been modernized to address VM’s, encryption, security, and networks. Among the changes are more stringent password prerequisites, updates for encryption standards, requirements for reporting data on system health, CPU capacity, MEW Factor, and alarm response, standards for runaway alarms, and watchdog messages for noncompliance issues.

Q. Is ManitouNEO compliant for these new standards?
ManitouNEO is undergoing the final steps of updated UL certification for UL 1981 Revision 3. Bold added 62 items to the software platform to meet these new standards. For customers using BoldNet Neo or running ManitouNEO through one of our Manitou Cloud Services options, Bold’s encryption standards and database center are compliant for UL 827 8th Edition. To learn more about features of ManitouNEO that have been prompted by the changes to UL, read our new resource guide.

Q. How is a MEW Factor determined, and how does it relate to UL 827 8th Edition?
The Monitoring Equivalent Weight (MEW) Factor of a monitoring center is based on the number of accounts it monitors, with different weights given to different account types. Monitoring centers have different failover and redundancy requirements based on their MEW Factor. It is determined by calculating the sum of the following formula:

  • Number of Residential monitored accounts x .333
  • Number of Inactive Commercial monitored accounts x 1 (ManitouNEO identifies these as Active Commercial Accounts with no Open/Close service)
  • Number of supervised Commercial intrusion alarm systems with monitored Open/Close x 3 (ManitouNEO identifies these as Active Commercial accounts with a supervised Open/Close; if a partitioned system allows each area to send an Open/Close, then each partition is counted as a separate system)

Q. Will my company now require a redundant site?
Only monitoring centers with a MEW Factor of over 100,000 will be required to have a redundant site, and will have until January 1, 2020 to comply. Bold has compliant redundancy options available for centers needing to meet this requirement.

Q. How is Bold preparing customers for these UL changes?
Bold has implemented plans to get all our UL-listed monitoring centers upgraded before the July 2018 deadline. Customers wishing to begin the upgrade process should submit a ticket through the Bold Support Portal. To learn about the hardware requirements for upgrade, see our ManitouNEO overview document here or in the BoldGenius Resource Library