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Technology in alarm design is continually improving - the incidents of false alarms are being reduced whilst higher degrees of security are being provided. Few properties with properly installed alarm systems are burgled. Alarms can be audible only or monitored remotely by a monitoring station arranged by your installer. For the business user, a monitored system is strongly recommended.

Alarms can now produce not only audible warnings, but also provide verification that an intruder is on the premises via additional signals to the monitoring station. Verified alarm activation improves the chances of apprehension and minimises the inconvenience of false alarms.

Selecting an alarm installer

Many insurance companies now require their customers to use approved installers if they wish to benefit from the lower premiums. Check with your insurance company about their requirements before selecting your alarm installer.

In order to get a balanced view of what is on offer, you should obtain more than one quote from installers who are subject to an independent inspection by a police recognised approval body.

These regulatory bodies include:

Whilst all independently inspected alarm companies will have to ensure they meet stringent standards on installation and equipment, which includes fitting to British Standard 4737, you should ensure that you have asked the following questions:

  • Are there any maintenance and/or monitoring contracts or additional hidden extras, such as call-out charges?
  • Do you own or rent the system?
  • How long does the guarantee last for and what happens if there is a problem after that?
  • Is there a 24-hour call-out service and emergency attendance within four hours?

Monitoring stations are now required to provide additional information regarding alarm activation. More recent alarm equipment can provide confirmation of an intruder actually being in the premises. This is designed to increase the chance of apprehension and to reduce false alarms.

Three types of confirmation are available:

Sequential verification. This is based on a signal confirmation that more than one detector has been activated.

Audio verification. This can enable a central monitoring station to listen' to the noise of forced entry or sounds of a person on the premises via strategically located microphones.

Visual verification. On-site confirmation is provided to monitoring stations via strategically located cameras.

Alarm Communication

Any alarm, however advanced, is only effective if it is responded to. There are a number of methods of communication between the alarm and the monitoring centre.

 The Derbyshire Constabulary Security Systems Policy can be downloaded from the Policy page of our website.

Do you need a quick answer to a general question? Then we recommend you visit the national Ask The Police web site.