Monitored and Police Response Alarms

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Monitoring Alarm and CCTV Installations

There are a number of considerations with regard to monitored alarms and systems requiring a police response. These will vary depending on the type of monitoring required.

Essentially, there are two approaches to monitoring alarms:

  • User/owner monitored - with notifications via speech or voice dialler to keyholders, these could be trusted family or friends.
  • Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) - notifications going via a manned ARC, with the ARC contacting the keyholders or the appropriate emergency service.

Police Response Installations

Police response systems are subject to more stringent design criteria in order to avoid time wasted in responding to false alarms. Police forces will only respond to what are known as ‘confirmed alarm activations’ or ‘verified alarm signals’- generally two signals of alarm information to be received by the ARC within a pre-set time period. Compliant systems are issued with a Police URN (Unique Reference Number), which is obtained by the installer.

The more demanding design criteria of these installations mean they can only be installed by security companies that have been approved by a UKAS accredited inspectorate body such as – Security Systems & Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB) or the National Security Inspectorate (NSI). These bodies audit security companies against British and European standards for system design, monitoring, and maintenance; checks also include vetting and training of staff.

DCA Security Systems are SSAIB accredited and are able to obtain URNs from all police forces.

ARC monitored alarms require two maintenance checks per year.

British Standards

For reference, the standards applying to alarm and CCTV installations are shown here:

Standards Applying to Alarm Systems

  • BS EN 50131 - Intrusion and hold-up alarm standards.
  • BS EN 50136 - Alarm Transmission standards.
  • BS 8243 - Installation and configuration of intruder and hold-up alarm systems designed to generate confirmed alarm conditions.
  • PD 6662 - Scheme for the application of European standards for intrusion and hold-up alarm systems.
  • BS DD 263 - System commissioning and remote support.

Standards Applying to CCTV Systems

  • BS EN 62676 - Standards for CCTV.
  • BS 8418 - Installation and remote monitoring of detector-activated CCTV systems Code of Practice.

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