The issue is further complicated as both the above
types can be available as "hard-wired" or "wireless" systems.
With the first group - bells only - when
the alarm is triggered by one of the alarm components, an outside
bell or siren is activated. This will undoubtedly inform the burglar
that they have been detected and may motivate them to leave.
The mere presence of an alarm system may also
persuade a burglar to find an easier target.
However, in these days when many houses have
alarms fitted the general public may choose to ignore the warnings
bells. How many times have you heard a burglar alarm going off and
how may times have you taken some action about it?
Many cheaper systems result in numerous false
alarms and the public have to some extent become immune to the sound
of a continuous alarm. Because of the pressures placed on the police
force by these numerous false alarms, the Association of Chief
Police Officers (ACPO) issued a Intruder Alarm Policy. The full text
can be seen here .
With an approved monitored alarm system, any alarm
activation is passed to a central monitoring station by your
telephone. These Alarm Receiving Centres, or ARCs, are thus alerted
to any potential burglary. They can "watch" the alarm system and if
they see 2 or more different units activated, they can inform the
police that an confirmed incident is taking place.
The Metropolitan Police Force offer the following
The variety of alarms and their
fitting is a complex subject. As a starting point the installation
should meet with British Standard 4737. This type of installation
refers to hard-wired systems as opposed to wire-free. Though
more expensive than many wire-free or D-I-Y packages on the market,
they are more reliable and conform to the Association of Chief
Police Officers (ACPO) Intruder Alarm Policy. The only wire free
system which conforms both to British Standards and the ACPO
Intruder Alarm Policy is a BS 6799 Class VI alarm. This type is
typically more expensive than its hard-wired counterpart. Be aware
that systems that claim to meet with British Standards, but don't
specify BS 4737 or 6799, may well be referring to the electrical
standard and not that of the alarm system.
If you are thinking about the
installation of an alarm system in your home it is worth taking into
account that the police response to alarm activations varies
according to the type of alarm installed. In recent years the
percentage of false alarm calls caused by either equipment,
communication or user error represented in excess of 92% of all
alarm activations nationally. In order to redress the balance in
favour of genuine calls, the ACPO Unified Intruder Alarm Policy has
been adopted by the Police, in which two types of alarms are
defined, together with the relevant police response.
Type A - Remote Signalling Alarms,
including intruder alarms terminating at approved central
monitoring stations. They must be maintained and used in
accordance with British Standard 4737, BS 7042 (high security
systems) or BS 6799 Class VI (wire-free alarms). Such alarms will
be registered with the police and identified by a unique reference
number (URN) and can include personal attack alarms. The police
response to their activation will be based on the assumption that
an offence is taking place, but against the background of
competing urgent calls and available resources. Such a response
will also be conditional upon the number of false activations in
any 12 month period, in which case the activation may receive a
lower priority police attendance.
Type B - Audible Only and Hybrid Alarms,
including bells-only and automatic dialling alarms, as well as
alarms from non-compliant companies and non-compliant central
stations. URNs will not be issued for these systems. To obtain
police attendance, in addition to their activation Type B alarms
will also require some indication that an offence is in progress,
e.g. from a witness.
See full article here
The alarm systems we feature fully comply with
Type A above.
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