Frequently Asked Questions
- Q: What options do I have when choosing an alarm?
A. Alarms of all sizes and configurations can be broken down into 3 levels of responses:
- Bells Only alarms which, when activated, will initiate a sounder which is intended to attract attention; these systems are generally ineffective especially in commercial settings where passersby are rare out of hours.
- Monitored alarms have proven to be far more effective from both detection and deterrent points of view; the monitored alarm is connected to an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) where, upon activation, actions are taken by the ARC operator. Both Police response and Keyholder Response mechanisms are monitored alarms.
Keyholder response is where the ARC contact the people you nominate to attend activations; the keyholders can be employees, neighbours or friends or if you wish to have activations attended by trained security staff we are able to arrange for SIA registered keyholding companies to attend on your behalf.
- Police Response alarms operate in a similar way to keyholder response systems with the addition of the police being called once a keyholder has been contacted and agreed to attend, it should be noted that whilst the Police will endeavour to attend it will be entirely reliant on resource available at the time and the Police are unable to enter the premises without a keyholder being in attendance.
Q: Why do the Monitored range have Keyholder response and not Police response?
A There is very little difference in the procedural requirements between Keyholder and Police response mechanisms but with Keyholder response the attendance is far more certain and controllable. Should an attending Keyholder have reason to believe that a crime has been committed the Police are duty bound to offer an immediate response to a 999 call from the scene.
Q: Can the system be upgraded to police response?
A Most Monitored installations are upgradable to a Grade 2 Police response; Police response systems require confirmation of intrusion by sequential activation of multiple sensors which means that in most cases additional sensors will need to be added to your alarms configuration, this will have a capital cost associated. It should also be noted that the prescriptive maintenance requirements for Police response will increase your monthly payments by circa £15.
We are also able to upgrade to DualCom or RedCare with a simple and relatively inexpensive panel change; this will add circa £150 to your annual aftercare costs.
- Q: What responses do I get with the Monitored range?
A.The Monitored range of systems are able to respond to a variety of situations each of which can have a bespoke response mechanism some of which are outlined below:
- Intruder activations during your normal operating hours have an initial response of the ARC calling the secured premises and dependant on the pass worded response the operator will either escalate the response by keyholder contact or stand down. If the ARC receive an intruder activation outside of your normal working hours the initial response will be to listen in to the premises via the panels audio facility followed by calls to your nominated Keyholders; the ARC operator will report the results of the audio connection to the Keyholder.
- Smoke detection activations are initially subject to audio connection, this is to endeavor to ascertain if the activation is accidental, if the activation is confirmed through this the fire service will be called to attend, if no confirmation is possible the fire service will be called to attend but it should be noted that repeated false activations may cause the fire service to insist on confirmation prior to response. Some areas of the UK will require specific agreements before fire service support can be achieved.
- Lone Worker Support has been designed to offer businesses an everyday support structure. For example, if you operate a small shop and often find yourself working alone or with only one other colleague there may be some customers who make you feel uncomfortable. This could be down to their manner or just the way in which they are dressed i.e. they don’t remove their crash helmet or put their hood down. They may be perfectly innocent but if they make you feel vulnerable you can simply press a button on the pocket keyfob, neck or wrist pendant which will open a line of communication between your premises and the monitoring station. The monitoring station staff will already be aware of your passwords and the use of a duress password would indicate to the operator that the situation requires response escalation and a stand down password would indicate that all is well. So you can have someone listening on stand-by and by using your duress password they will immediately summon help. Also, if the situation turns out to be harmless using the stand down password will tell the monitoring station operator that you are fine without the embarrassment of help arriving when it is not needed. This simple functionality helps with situations that occur in businesses every day.
Q: Do I need a site survey?
A. Yes, every site has to have both a site survey and a risk assessment. Usually these are completed on the day of installation just before the installation takes place. We will have exchanged sketches or drawings and held discussions with you about the installation before the installation arrangements are made so we will have a good understanding of what needs to happen including what and where the various components will be installed. However occasionally it will be necessary for an engineer to visit your location and conduct the survey and risk assessment before the installation date can be arranged. In these rare occasions we make a small charge of £70.00 plus vat to cover the costs incurred.
Q: What service do I receive for the standard monthly cost?
A. Keeping the system operating correctly at no further costs to you: (subject to conditions)
- If it breaks we fix it
- If you are having trouble using it we will re-train you
- The system is self diagnostic and will send the monitoring station a signal if anything is found to be not working or getting close to operating outside of acceptable tolerances
- We repair or replace free of charge.
- We replace batteries when needed free of charge.
Normal usage and terms and conditions apply.
Q: After the initial 36 months what contract period do I have to sign up to?
A.The contract continues on a monthly basis, with a 3 month cancellation period.
Q: Are there different ways I can order?
A.Yes, you can order via any of the following:
- Through your insurance broker,
- Through your Business Crime Reduction Officer/Manager,
- Through some Crime Prevention Officers
- Through your Chamber of Commerce
- On this website by clicking on the Apply Now button, or
- By phone during normal office hours on 0845 241 7754
Q: When will my System be installed?
A We endeavour to complete the installation within 15 working days of us receiving the necessary
paperwork from you. Once we have your application we will run the necessary credit checks on your business and dispatch the order pack via either email or post for you to complete and return. Once we have received the completed paperwork the engineering department will contact you and make arrangements for the system to be installed.
Q: How long will the installation take?
A.The installation time can vary greatly depending on the layout of your premises. Most installations are straightforward and can be completed within a couple of hours, some take a little longer. This is normally because of where your power supply is or where the master telephone socket is. We usually ask our customers to allow half a day for the installation.
Q: Are there occasions when a new or additional telephone line will need to be installed?
A. Only if you do not have an existing telephone line. In these circumstances you can either have one installed or chose to use a GSM communication module at an extra one off cost of £175 plus vat; the business will have to sign a suitable mobile phone contract for the communications from the GSM unit. The BCRU will usually arrange for the provision of the SIM chip for you (checking with you which mobile provider gets the best signal in the area of use). You should make a budgetary allowance of circa £3.50 plus vat per month for the costs associated with the mobile calls made by the GSM unit.
Q: Will the security system interfere with our broadband connection?
A. No where necessary our engineers will install an ADSL & Broadband filter.
Q: What happens if I move premises?
A Simply call us and we’ll make arrangements for a settlement statement to be sent to you.
The settlement amount is usually a percentage of the outstanding contract. If you want a system in your new premises we make a small administration charge and ask you to sign a new aftercare contract.
Q: What happens to the system I leave behind?
A. We turn the functionality of the alarm off remotely (as long as the phone line is active), then shortly after the new proprietors move in we will contact them to see if they want to use our services. If so, we’ll send an engineer in to service the system, remove all of your old codes and keyfobs and replace them with new ones. We will of course ask the new proprietors to sign the standard monitoring and aftercare contract.
Q: What reasons would I need to obtain permission to have an alarm system installed?
A. Rented, multi tenure properties and some grades of listed building may require planning permission or landlord consent.
Q: Can a PIR be installed in an outbuilding?
A. PIR’s can be installed in outbuildings up to 150 metres away, dependant on environment, from the main control panel; please see extras pricing.
Q: Will the installation be unsightly?
A. Our engineers do all they can to minimise any disruption to the decor of your premises. We use wire-free detection devises so this removes unsightly wire runs. Where we have to run wires we do all we can to make sure they are as discrete as possible.
Q: What are Keyholders?
A. Keyholders are people you nominate to act in the event of an activation. These should be people you can trust and rely on who can attend the premises within 20 minutes. Keyholders would ideally investigate an alarm activation and dial 999 in the event of any suspicious circumstances
When the system is first installed you will be asked for your Keyholders details, and in what order you would like them to be contacted. This can include your own mobile number if required. If your Keyholder details change in the future, a simple phone call to the 0845 number provided is all it will take to amend the details. It is recommended that you have a minimum of 3 Keyholders but we are unable to offer the monitoring service with less than 2 Keyholders..