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Intruder Alarm Advice for Domestic PropertiesBurglary Prevention Advice

Home Security Alarms

Below is a brief guide in buying security systems but for full details and our official advice to help you through the technology of intruder alarms download ACPOs Intruder Alarm Advice for Domestic Properties.

Intruder alarms must be used to enhance your existing physical security measures in your home. They should be used as a deterrent and a means of summoning help if physical security is breached.
There are two main types of alarm systems:

  • Audible only - When the alarm is activated it operates an internal and/or external siren to call attention to the property.
  • These systems can be DIY or professionally installed
  • Remotely Monitored System
  • When the alarm is activated it sends a signal to a central monitoring station who in turn will automatically call a keyholder of your choice, and if you require it, the police.
  • If you decide on police response to your alarm it must be installed and maintained by a company that conforms to the ACPO security systems policy, and whose business is subject to inspection by a UKAS accredited body.
  • Currently only two such organisations are accepted by the police:

The National Security Inspectorate (NSI)
The Security Systems and Alarm Inspection Board (SSAIB)

These organisations will give you details of member companies who operate in your local area.

Choosing you alarm

  • Check the address and credentials of the company and proof of identity from their representative.
  • Obtain written Quotes from at least two companies.
  • Ask if they can supply you with a list of police rules for monitored alarmed premises
  • Request a written confirmation that they are registered with the Police Force in your area
  • The quote should specify the installation will be to European/British Standards and maintenance and monitoring contracts.
  • The company needs to operate a 24-hour call-out service and emergency attendance within four hours.
  • If the installation of a security system is an insurance requirement, check that the security company is acceptable to your insurer.

Using Your Alarm System

  • The installing technician should explain the operation of the system to you.
  • Read instructions and ensure you, and those who use the system are familiar with the alarm.
  • Arrange for a responsible person to hold keys to your home and be able to operate the alarm.
  • Where audible-only systems are installed neighbours should be aware and agree to report any activation that appears to be accompanied by criminal or suspicious activity.
  • False alarms should be investigated and the cause corrected or the system modified.
  • External sirens and bells should not operate for more than 20 minutes.
  • Excessive noise and frequent false alarms can irritate neighbours and lead to complaints

Important Points

  • When investing in an intruder alarm it is advisable to have it professionally installed.
  • Do not work with cold callers or telesales enquiries
  • Avoid doing doorstep or telephone business.
  • If you have serious doubts about the legality or sales techniques contact the Police or Trading Standards for advice.


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