Helping you understand Intruder Alarm Standards

A guide to the standards we need to meet when supplying intruder alarms

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If you’re confused about the plethora of intruder alarm standards, we will take you through them in this blog to help you select the right company to install your security system.

When selecting an intruder alarm installer choosing an SSAIB or NSI-accredited company means your system will be installed to the correct standards using intruder alarm solutions which also meet the necessary standards. It also means you can have a unique reference number (URN) for your intruder alarm system which we can provide to our alarm receiving centre (ARC) and allows you to have a police response if required.

If you have a break-in or your property is threatened with vandalism you want to know your intruder alarm system will meet the latest standards to be effective and that it meets the requirements of your insurance company so that if you make a claim, it will be accepted.

To have complete peace of mind about your intruder alarm system, and often to fulfil insurance company requirements, you need to pick a properly accredited installer. We are an NSI (National Security Inspectorate) Gold-approved company which means our security systems meet the rigorous requirements of the standards and the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC).

Unique reference number (URN) required for a police response

Having the NSI accreditation means we are a company that can be registered with the police in England and Wales and we can obtain a unique reference number (URN) from them for your premises.

Without a URN you will not be able to have a police response. Additionally, to receive a Police response for a remotely monitored alarm system, any systems newly installed (since June 2019) must conform to the Standards PD 6662:2017 and BS 8243.

Intruder alarm system standards explained

Your insurance company will also specify the standards that it is expects your intruder alarm company to be complying with. PD 6662:2017 is an umbrella standard that assures you and your insurance company that all the equipment and alarm systems configuration will be in line with the latest European standards.

The standard includes the main European BS EN 50131 alarm product standards, along with system requirements from BS EN 50131-1 for intrusion and hold-up systems and BS 8243 for installation and configuration designed to generate confirmed alarm conditions.

When an intruder alarm system is installed for the first time, insurance companies will specify the grade of alarm required. We install grade 2 and 3 alarm systems.  Grade 2 systems are suitable for most residential properties and lower risk small commercial properties. However, some commercial properties, and certain high-risk homes, will be required by their insurance company to have a grade 3 alarm system.

Grade 3 systems are designed to combat burglars and attackers with advanced knowledge of alarm systems and have tools and equipment (including portal electronic devices). The system is comprehensive and protects all potential entry points of a building.

Reliable systems are required for long-term insurance protection

Insurance companies will also be seeking to ensure that your intruder alarm system will be reliable in the long-term and are likely to request that a contract for routine and emergency maintenance will need to be taken out.

We offer all our customers a support and maintenance package that will mean that in the event of a problem with your intruder alarm system in between the annual service, one of our engineers will respond to your call in under 4 hours – by providing remote assistance initially – to get your system working again.

Having a support and maintenance contract means you will have a quicker response if something does go wrong with your intruder alarm system and you need our support.

Importance of a high standard alarm transmission system

If your property contains high value goods, or is likely to be a target for burglars then remote monitoring by our Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) will provide an extra layer of security and added peace of mind and is likely to be a requirement of your insurance company.

Your intruder alarm system will be fitted with an alarm transmission system which sends signals to the ARC. As required by industry standards: EN50136-1:2018/PD 6662:2017 by monitoring these notifications the ARC is ensuring your security systems are functioning properly and protecting your property.

You can either choose a Single Path (SP) transmission system so you have one line for the signal, or you can have two lines of transmission (Dual Path), which means if one line fails you have a back-up. Your insurance company may be specific about the transmission it requires. If you have a Dual Path (DP) Alarm Transmission System you can also select how often signals are sent and therefore increase the level of protection you have for your intruder alarm system.

Benefits of intruder system monitoring

Our ARC will receive an activation signal if your intruder alarm is triggered. The monitoring team carefully filter activations to sort which alerts are false alarms and which alarms require a police response.

It can mean that after staff have left for the evening mistakes, such as setting an alarm but then leaving a door open, can be detected and if necessary, someone can be contacted to take action to improve security.

The team in our remote monitoring centre will provide a response such as to:

  • notify nominated keyholders
  • notify a linked keyholding service and/or
  • notify the Police in the event of a confirmed alarm signal (BS8243) although you may choose not to have this option.

Importance of stopping false alarms

If you opt for a police response, we will notify our ARC of your URN enabling them to identify your premises if any alarms are triggered.

In the UK, excluding Scotland, the Police commit to immediate response, subject to their priorities. However, the immediate response will be withdrawn following three false alarm calls in a rolling twelve-month period. This can be reinstated, but no sooner than 90 days with no false alarms, if the cause of false alarms has been identified and you can demonstrate appropriate remedial action has been taken to correct the issue.

We provide standards-compliant intruder alarm systems

As an NSI Gold-approved company we can give you the peace of mind that we will install standards-compliant intruder alarm systems. Our suppliers and our ARC meet the necessary standards to ensure you will meet insurance requirements and to have a police response if you need it. As our recent installation for Atmos VR shows we will take the time to talk to your insurance company if needed and when designing your intruder alarm system, we will take their specific requirements into account. If you would like to talk to us about an intruder alarm installation or alarm upgrade, or just want to find out more, please get in touch.