Intruder alarm: The must-know facts

Intruder alarm senses attempted intrusion or illegal entrance into an establishment; apartment and private homes with secure installation and thus triggers a response. A properly installed and maintained intruder alarm will relieve organizations and other individuals from the stress of worrying too much about getting robbed or being entered by burglars and all other form of attacks.

There are a wide variety of intruder alarms. These vary depending upon the personal inclination of the owner, site, and establishment´s size, level of protection required, monitoring and the manner of response preferred. Intruder alarms have two types: wired or wireless. Normally, wireless intruder alarms are easier to install. Installing wired alarms can be troublesome and even simple system installations will require professional help.

Intruder alarm can be classified based on its alarm method: bells only, speech-dialer or monitored alarms. Bells-only alarms or the ones that makes a loud noise when it’s triggered are projected to signal people near the area that a possible intruder has entered the building and also, to scare the trespasser off while the speech dialer aka text alert system will text or call a designated phone number programmed in the system. They will then be able to distantly access CCTV cameras or microphones within the sites to observe the situation and decide what sort of action is required. Monitored alarms have connection to an alarm-receiving center (ARC) when triggered. The receiving end usually rings the building and asks for any respondents for their password and if in case it is incorrect or if there is no answer, the center will inform the registered key-holder or respond themselves or in some cases, notify the police.

Sometimes, there are false alarms; therefore the police only take action to signals with police-unique reference number known as URN. For owners to have a URN, alarm systems must be installed, maintained and monitored by a firm listed with the National Security Inspectorate (NSI), or Security Systems & Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB).

The police accept 3 types of installation:

  • Sequential: The first alarm alerts a key-holder. A second, special alarm in a designated period will notify the police.
  • Audio: The alarm activates microphones allowing the alarm-receiving center to listen if there are any criminal activities in the area.
  • Visual: The alarm triggers CCTV cameras allowing the alarm-receiving center to look for any criminal activity.

Response may be removed following three false calls in 12 months and will only be reinstated if the system fulfills and follows the police policy on the reinstatement. The required type of alarm, security grade, type of alarm method and the response can be decided by commissioning a risk assessment. The process should involve meeting with the insurer of the place.

Preferably there should be at least two key-holders accessible at all times, they will be responsible for the response of the alarms. They must be highly trustworthy persons, who should be able to attend to the situation within 20 minutes, should be contactable by telephone and have their own transport.

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