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A Guide to Insurance Requirements for Intruder Alarm Systems

An insurance policy may contain a condition that requires:

A particular type of alarm installer, system, signalling and response, An emergency/routine maintenance contract being kept in force, Provision to the installer and other of keyholder's details, The insurers prior approval of any changes to the system, Full setting of the alarm system whenever the premises are left unattended (and possibly partial setting at other times), Keeping the alarm operating codes secret and not leaving alarm operating devices at the premises when they are unattended, Prompt keyholder attendance after any reported alarm activation or fault.

Policy conditions vary between insurers so you should check your own policy details of any such condition, and whether failure to comply would jeopardise insurance cover.

This is a summary of information published by the RISCAuthority.

Summary of Insurer's Typical Requirements for an 'Audibles Only' Alarm System

Installation/maintenance to be by:

An NSI or SSAIB regulated installer with a contract for emergency and routine maintenance in force

Security grading of system to be:

Grade 2X

System to be designed with:

Control and signalling equipment installed out of site, and ideally not located in an area used as an alarm entry-exit route

An appropriate form of detection in each 'risk area'

Signalling to comprise:

One external, self-powered, audible warning device (sounder), located at least 4m above ground level (or any roof or balcony etc., that is readily accessible from the ground

Response to be by:

Persons living/working in or near to the premises who, when the alarm is usually set, are likely to hear the alarm and be willing to either respond as, or telephone a key holder.

SUMMARY OF INSURERS' TYPICAL REQUIREMENTS FOR A POLICE RESPONSE ALARM SYSTEM

Installation/Maintenance to be by:

A NSI or SSAIB listed installer, eligible to apply for a police URN with the force in whose area the alarmed premises are located with a contract for emergency and routine maintenance in force.

Security grading of system (detection and control equipment) to be:

Grade 3 for most commercial risks, Grade 2 for most domestic risks.

Sequential confirmation system to be designed with:

Control and signalling equipment installed out of sight, and not located in an area used as an alarm entry-exit route. Two appropriate forms of detection in each at risk area and means of unsetting to be via an entry door lock linked to the alarm unless the entry route or premises are considered low risk, in which case, use of a remote control device (transmitter or fob) upon entry is acceptable.

Hold-up alarm facilities (where required):

Dual action attack devices sited adjacent to expected attack area.

Signalling to comprise:

A Grade 4, dual path, remote signalling product (ideally one independently certified as meeting Grade 4 but in any case as agreed by the insurer with a supplementary external self powered audible warning device (sounder)

Monitoring to be by an alarm receiving centre (ARC) with:

NSI/SSAIB approval, and the ARC notifying the police (where eligible) and keyholder's of all alarm events/faults, including signalling path failures, immediately upon receipt.

Response to be by:

The police, at the highest response level provided for by the responding force's Security System Policy and keyholder's (owners/staff/friends,etc or a response company.

This is a summary of information published by the Risc Authority

For more information go to

www.riscauthority.co.uk

Their documents:

S13 -

Guide for Audible’s Only Intruder Alarm Systems

and

S14 -

Guide for Intruder Alarm Systems with Police Response

can be viewed at our premises


Commercial & Domestic

Intruder Alarm Systems

INTRUDER ALARMS

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We don't insult your intelligence with so-called 'Free Offers' or 'Special Discounts' which invariably end up costing you dearly. We don't expect you to decide there and then, in fact we don't even state the cost of a proposed system when we carry out a survey for which there is no charge or any obligation whatsoever. We send you a written detailed specification and fixed price quotation for your consideration at your leisure. All of our charges are straightforward with no hidden extras and based on true costs.

The need for an Intruder Alarm System to be installed and maintained by a registered installer is led by insurance companies who increasingly specify this as a condition of insurance. Until quite recently, this requirement tended to be for higher risk commercial premises with a large potential loss and private residences with a high contents value only. It is also a requirement for systems with police response. However, there is an ever increasing trend towards specifying approved systems in virtually any situation. Even if there is no current requirement from your insurers, there might well be at a later date.

Insurers specify such systems in order to minimise their losses. Registered installers are regularly inspected and must show that they are installing and maintaining systems to the required standards. A system must be capable of showing a log of the recent history to prove its status at the time of any incident. The installation company must also carry hefty specialist insurance cover for liability and failure to perform. Before specifying the design of a system they must first carry out a risk assessment to ensure that any proposed system is fit for purpose.

Professional Grade wireless systems which meet the relevant grading are now a realistic option. The latest wireless technology and battery technology brings reliability without the need for wiring. Hybrid systems are available which can match wireless and conventional devices to the same system. Totally wireless systems can include wireless keypads and wireless sounders as well as wireless detection devices. The advantages and disadvantages between wired and wireless should be considered carefully before any decision is made.

If you are having an alarm system installed it is in all probability to give you peace of mind, reduce the chance of theft and minimise your loss. The last thing you want is a troublesome system that does not meet your expectations. Even if your insurers are not specifying the need for a system they might well do so in the future. Choosing a non-approved company to install an un-graded system might well mean that you will need a complete new system at a later date.to DD423

For an Intruder Alarm System to achieve and retain its SSAIB (or NSI) status it must be subject to a maintenance contract. This is a requirement for systems with police response.

A system installed to achieve such status (as often required by insurers) loses its status if it is not maintained in accordance with standards. A good excuse not to pay out in the event of a claim!

The problem is that some security companies use the need for maintenance to give themselves an unfair advantage with their charging and call-out structure. It is imperative that you are free to switch companies if you so desire. To combat this, some companies 'lock' the engineer code. This prevents the codes from being defaulted to factory settings to deny legitimate access to the system by others.

If a system which has been installed is not to the required standards for compliance, subsequent insistence on an alarm for insurance purposes could mean a new installation.

We offer a free survey and quotation without any obligation for commercial and domestic premises. Fully comprehensive maintenance is available for systems we install. Full terms and conditions and cost are provided with each quotation.

When comparing quotations it is wise to consider that a system that is thrown in using cheap equipment will initially cost less but has the potential to prove very costly over a period of time.

We take the time to properly install high quality reliable equipment so any on-going costs can be kept to a minimum while at the same time, allowing us to offer low cost fully comprehensive maintenance.

We don't tie our customers up with a long term contract in order to keep them, we simply rely on meeting our customers needs. They are free to judge us and go elsewhere if they are not satisfied.

We can provide:

Hardwired Commercial & Domestic Systems (Grades 2, 2 X & 3)

Wireless Commercial & Domestic Systems (Grades 2 & 2 X)

Audible's Only Systems

Voice Communication Option

Central Station Monitoring Option

Redcare Monitoring Option

Redcare GSM Monitoring Option

Dualcom Monitoring Option

Freecom Dual Path Monitoring option (Grade 2)

Systems to DD423 for Police Response

Remote Re-set Facilities

Remote Access (Up load and down load for Data Retrieval, Diagnostics and Programming) Option

SSAIB Approval

Security Fog Machines

Fully Comprehensive Maintenance (for systems we install)

NO CALL-OUT CHARGES (in normal working hours)

NO LABOUR CHARGES

NO CHARGE FOR REPLACEMENT PARTS

NO CHARGE FOR REPLACING BATTERIES

NO CHARGE FOR ANNUAL MAINTENANCE INSPECTION

Note: Wilful damage, other damage or damage caused by flooding etc. is not covered.

Every new system includes maintenance cover for the first year and the cost of renewal is given with the quotation for the installation of the system. When that cover is due to expire, customers are given the opportunity to renew their cover on an annual basis. The operation of such a scheme means that we can only use top quality reliable equipment, calls cost us money so we can't afford not to.

MAJOR CHANGES FOR INTRUDER ALARM STANDARDS - PD6662

October 2005 saw the introduction of PD6662 which is the intermediate UK version of European Standards for Intruder Alarms.

A registered alarm installer is now required to carry out a 'risk assessment' and decide on the appropriate grade of system.

Under PD6662, systems are 'graded'.

Grade 1

Non-professional or even DIY and would not normally meet the requirements of an insurance company.

Grade 2

Most domestic and lower risk commercial premises.

Grade 2 X is a variation of Grade 2 for systems that are not monitored or the monitoring does not comply with the requirements of Grade 2.

Grade 3

Higher risk commercial and high risk domestic.

Grade 4

Specialist risk such as banks etc.

Quite clearly, in many cases opinions to which grade of system is appropriate will differ. Grade 3 systems will cost substantially more than Grade 2. It is the insurer who carries the risk. Where an alarm is a requirement for insurance, the safest option is to ask your insurers for written confirmation that the grade specified is acceptable to avoid problems in the event of a claim. The requirement from insurers might vary so shop around.

The grading is based on the overall risk which includes the possible cost of a claim following a burglary and the likely ability of the type of intruder attracted to defeat the alarm system.

A non-graded or Grade 1 System carries a greater risk of defeat by an intruder and accordingly, the risk of probable higher insurance premiums in the event of a claim. Updating a system to a higher grade could involve the virtual replacement of system including possible rewiring.

BS 4737 is no longer acceptable for new installations but earlier systems should still be maintained to that standard.

WIRELESS ALARM SYSTEMS

Until quite recently, wireless alarm systems were considered by many to be unreliable. To be fair, professional systems appeared worse than they were in reality fuelled by the fact that most of the DIY systems available did 'little to inspire confidence' and tarnished the reputation of wireless systems as a whole.

The new generation of wireless systems use the latest wireless and battery technologies to provide reliable systems that can meet the standards required for insurance purposes. As you might expect, some are much better than others.

Fully wireless systems mean no wiring to the detection devices, keypad, and bell box. The main control panel does however require a connection to the mains supply and a telephone line where it is required for remote communication purposes.



Commercial Monitoring Domestic Wireless

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