Everyone wants to feel safe and have their property protected against deliberate or accidental damage. Having a monitored alarm system, be it a monitored intruder or smoke alarm, could well mean that you will be protecting yourself, your family and your property around the clock. For vacant properties, having a monitored alarm means squatters are more likely to be detected before settling in and causing further problems.
Should the monitored alarm system alarm be triggered, it will sound a loud alarm (unless it is a specific silent alarm system) and the alarm monitoring centre will respond to the triggered alert. Then, they follow this up with a phone call or other alert, often requiring password verification by the occupiers, which is designed to check what is going on. The centre will look into what is happening on your property and once they know what is going on, they will act accordingly as soon as possible.
With a monitored alarm system, you should be contacted straight away if your alarm is triggered. The alarm should never be ignored by the monitoring company and should there be no response by the occupants, the appropriate emergency service should be dispatched by the monitoring company.
You can install a monitored alarm system in a personal property or business premises; if you have a business premise, it is highly advisable that you have security in place in any case with more material losses potentially at risk.
How Does it Work?
An alarm receiving centre will be, notified as the alarm system they monitor is triggered. A confirmed activation can be:
- Sequential Confirmation – This is the most popular form of confirmation for alarm systems and will need to be installed professionally. It occurs when two detection devices activate within a short period of time. This will usually be a door contact detection, followed by an interior motion sensor’s activation
- Audio Confirmation – This uses microphone technology in the alarm panel. Small but extremely sensitive microphones allow the alarm receiving centre to listen in to the property, for any suspicious noises. For the purposes of privacy, the microphones can only active when the alarm has actually sounded, to ensure your privacy remains but also that should anything occur, the alarm receiving centre can monitor what is going on when appropriate. The audio can often be used as evidence in court in cases of break-ins
- Visual Confirmation – A truly effective way of being able to confirm intrusions of domestic or commercial properties. A CCTV camera will be linked directly to the alarm receiving centre, so that the video footage can be watched as the intrusion is happening, in real time. This may the best choice if your property is regularly unoccupied for long periods of time.
Benefits of Monitored Alarms
Most alarm systems on the market can be either wired or wireless, depending which fulfils your property’s needs best. You can also get specifically-designed systems, better suited to either domestic or commercial property use. With a monitored alarm system, you receive 24/7 monitoring; no matter the time of day or night, should the alarm be triggered, you will receive a call to check what the problem is and act accordingly on your behalf.
Quicker Emergency Responses
You will have peace of mind that should anything occur, you can rely on an immediate police response. Yours and your property’s safety is a priority when you have a monitored alarm system in place. There may however, be an additional charge for immediate police response.
According to the ACPO 2004 policy (download here), if the police are dispatched to three false alarms within a 12-month period, the immediate response you have set up will be withdrawn unless a secondary witness to the crime arises.
By purchasing and installing a monitored alarm system in your home or your commercial property, you need to make a one-time purchase that will save you money (and also time) in the long-run on calling out engineers to sort any problems out.
How Much Does a Monitored Alarm System Cost?
As with any alarm system installation or maintenance inspection, the costs associated with the system will vary depending on the various different options available.
For example, an average sized 3 bedroom house or a small to medium sized retail shop, you can expect to fork out an additional £150-£200 for initial installation of basic single path monitoring with key holder response. On an annual basis, you will be paying a similar price for the upkeep of the maintenance on the system.
Larger properties may require more than one system in place with police response, here you can be looking closer to £250-£400 with the same annual price going forward for the years to come.