- Does your business have an Intruder Alarm or CCTV system?
- Is your system monitored by a 24-Hour Alarm Receiving Centre? (Type A)
- Do you have a ‘Speech Dialler’ installed (Type B)
- Who attends and investigates alarm activations at your organisation?
It’s reasonably safe to say that the majority of UK organisations have already invested in some form of security system for their premises. A professionally installed system with an annual maintenance plan is usually the best option although it probably won’t be the cheapest. Most insurers insist on a Type A system before commencing policy cover although a Type B system can be just as effective if it is installed by a reputable company that knows and cares about its customers.
Be aware that UK Police forces have a strict policy on responding to alarms:
Level 1: Immediate Response
All monitored intruder alarm systems are assigned a Level 1 status when they are first installed – the Police will respond immediately if the ARC confirms an activation. However, if the Police respond to 3 false alarms within any 12 month period, response will fall to Level 3 and Police response is immediately withdrawn. This also applies to Personal Attack alarms!
Level 2: Immediate Police attendance, depending on available resources
This level is no longer employed by the majority of Police constabularies.
Level 3 – Zero Police attendance unless an offence is witnessed as taking place
Police will not attend a Level 3 alarm unless a member of the public contacts them to say that they have actually witnessed a crime taking place. This can affect insurance cover so the Police will advise you to contact your insurers.
Police forces can also assign your system a Level 3 status if your Key Holders repeatedly fail to attend within 20 minutes. On the other hand, your Key Holder might attend within 20 minutes to find that the Police have been and gone, called away to a higher priority incident.
In this scenario, your company employed Key Holder is now on their own without any back up to rely on. He or she is now placed in a risky and vulnerable situation. Entering the work place alone in the early hours of the morning, without any specific training of what to do or who to expect is not usually detailed in an employees Job Description.
- Lone worker
- Increased risk of injury and attack
- Driving under the influence of alcohol
- Corporate Manslaughter Act…
So what is the alternative?
Outsource, outsource, outsource – well we would say that!
There are approximately 4,000 security services companies in the UK ranging in size from small 1-man bands up to the multi national companies. The majority of them can provide a cost effective Key Holding and Alarm Response service to commercial and domestic properties.
What should I look for in a security company?
Unfortunately, there are still plenty of unscrupulous security companies out there despite industry regulation but these minority elements can be weeded out easily enough.
Industry bodies such as the NSI, BSIA are a good place to start but I would recommend that you search for a company that holds Approved Contractor status with the Security Industry Authority – links below.