Somerset Home Security
Security alarm systems
are a worthwhile investment in the protection of your
home and family. Studies reveal that it is far less
likely that you will become the victim of a burglary
at home if you have a correctly fitted and well maintained
However, they should be regarded only as one element
within a complete security package.
reveal that it is far less likely that you will
become the victim of a burglary at home if you have
a correctly fitted and well maintained burglar alarm."
of security systems and their fitting is a complex subject. As
a starting point the installation should meet with British
Standard 4737. This type of installation refers to hard-wired
systems as opposed to wire-free. Though more expensive
than many wire-free or D-I-Y packages on the market,
they are more reliable and conform to the Association
of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Intruder Alarm Policy.
The only wire free system which conforms both to British
Standards and the ACPO Intruder Alarm Policy is a BS
6799 Class VI alarm. This type is typically more expensive
than its hard-wired counterpart. Be aware that systems
that claim to meet with British Standards, but don't
specify BS 4737 or 6799, may well be referring to the
electrical standard and not that of the Home Security
If you are
thinking about the installation of home security alarm
system in your home it is worth taking into account
that the police response to alarm activations varies
according to the type of alarm installed. In recent
years the percentage of false alarm calls caused by
either equipment, communication or user error represented
in excess of 92% of all alarm activations nationally.
In order to redress the balance in favour of genuine
calls, the ACPO Unified Intruder Alarm Policy has been
adopted by the Police, in which two types of alarms
are defined, together with the relevant police response.
Type A -
Remote Signalling Alarms, including intruder alarms
terminating at approved central monitoring stations.
They must be maintained and used in accordance with
British Standard 4737, BS 7042 (high security systems)
or BS 6799 Class VI (wire-free alarms). Such alarms
will be registered with the police and identified by
a unique reference number (URN) and can include personal
attack alarms. The police response to their activation
will be based on the assumption that an offence is taking
place, but against the background of competing urgent
calls and available resources. Such a response will
also be conditional upon the number of false activations
in any 12 month period, in which case the activation
may receive a lower priority police attendance.
Type B - Audible Only and Hybrid Alarms, including bells-only
and automatic dialling alarms, as well as alarms from
non-compliant companies and non-compliant central stations.
URNs will not be issued for these systems. To obtain
police attendance, in addition to their activation Type
B alarms will also require some indication that an offence
is in progress, e.g. from a witness.
In identifying a compliant company installing Type A
alarms you should seek answers to the following questions:
disclosing personal security details, have I checked
the address and credentials of the company and seen
proof of identity from the representative?
(b) Is the
company subject of an independent inspection process
and if so which organisation?
(c) Is the
installation of an alarm a requirement of my insurance
company and if so, is the company acceptable to my insurer?
(d) Can the
company representative provide me with a list of police
rules for occupiers of premises with alarms and written
confirmation that the alarm and the company are currently
acceptable to the local police for the transmission
of alarm messages from new installations.
I sought written quotations from at least two alarm
that the installation will be to British Standard 4737
or BS 7042 (high security systems), or, if it is a wire
free alarm, BS 6799 Class 6, as amended by BS DD 244?
the terms of maintenance and monitoring contracts?
company operate a 24 hour call-out service and emergency
attendance within four hours?
the installation of remote signalling alarms from alarm
companies whose business is subject to inspection by
independent inspectorate organisations identified in
police policy. Currently these are:
Inspectorate & Security Council)
IAl (Independent Alarm Inspectorate)
NACOSS (National Approval Council for Security Systems)
SSAIB (Security Systems and Alarm Inspection Board)
All of these organisations publish lists of relevant
& Maintain. • Intruder Alarms. •
C.C.T.V.. • Fire Alarms. • Electrical
Systems. • PAT Testing. Collapsible Gates.
• Roller Shutters. • Fixed Bars. •
Mesh Grilles. • Insurance Approved. •
Commercial & Domestic. Commercial & Domestic.
• Burglar Alarms - Redcare. • CCTV
- Digital Systems. • Fire Alarms & Door
Entry. • Repairs & Upgrades. •
Sales & Maintenance.
All alarm systems should have two keyholders,
trained to operate the alarm, able to attend
activation within 20 minutes, contactable by
telephone and with their own transport.
several houses in a street or Neighbourhood
Watch are considering installing alarm systems,
it is possible that an installer may give a
discount for multiple installations. What is
more, it is possible that the cost of an installation
could be partly offset by reduced household
If you are contemplating having an alarm installed and
need additional advice, contact your local Crime Prevention
Officer who will be happy to offer you further guidance.
You may find that the cost of fitting an alarm system
is lower than you originally anticipated. If several
houses in a street or Neighbourhood Watch are considering
installing alarm systems, it is possible that an installer
may give a discount for multiple installations. What
is more, it is possible that the cost of an installation
could be partly offset by reduced household insurance
premiums. You should be aware, however, that the insurer
may stipulate that the alarm should be set at all times
when the property is unoccupied, and that any claim
for losses incurred as a result of a break-in while
the alarm was not set may be adjusted accordingly.