A system for controlling one or more groups of remotely located sensors, such as those capable of sensing environmental hazards, and reporting the findings of each group of sensors through a microcontroller back to a host computer for recording and warnings. The host computer polls each microcontroller over a radio link. Upon being polled, a microcontroller generates a return message identifying itself and providing the desired information from those sensors connected to it. The microcontrollers essentially identical, being designed to interface with many commercially available and/or special sensors. Normally, a sensor is connected to a microcontroller by an electrical or fiber optic line. The microcontroller can turn power to certain sensors on and off to conserve battery power and sound local alarms when requested to do so by the host.