If you want to protect your home or business premises, it makes sense to have alarms fitted. When you have your property protected by an alarm connected to a response centre, you can have constant peace of mind, even when no one is on the premises. There is no need for a bell only alarm which will disturb everyone within hearing distance and make you unpopular with your neighbours. 

With the right system in place, modern alarm response centres (ARCs) can be alerted within seconds of it being triggered, so appropriate action can be taken and key holders, police and fire brigades notified immediately. This enables a swift response.

CCTV monitoring also provides visual confirmation of what is happening, and it can be used as evidence if required. It also means that personnel at the ARC are better able to recognise a false alarm when the emergency services are not needed.

UK police policy is only to respond to a confirmed alarm event. They will only respond if two separate devices have been activated within 30 minutes. Confirmation can be achieved with CCTV coverage, or by having a sufficient number of detection devices in the property.

Levels of Protection

The European standards for these monitored alarm systems have been set at grades between 1 and 4. Grade 4 offers the greatest level of protection because a test signal is sent to check the monitoring line is active as often as every 3 minutes. With Grade 3 the test signal is sent less frequently every 5 hours, and for Grade 2 every 25 hours. This system is called polling and its aim is to check whether a monitoring line is still active – or has been cut.

A number of providers have developed products to meet the standards. BT’s Redcare is one of the largest. Its Grade 4 products include Redcare Classic which makes use of an existing BT phone line, alerts the ARC in seconds and checks the alarm is working every couple of minutes. Another Grade 4, which they call GSM, is dual pathway, with another path to the ARC via a mobile network.

Product Differences

One of its Grade 2 products is Redcare Solo, which doesn’t use a landline but connects to a mobile network. It can easily be moved around from location to location, and is a good choice for construction sites or for mobile operations, such as boats, caravans, or mobile catering outlets at markets, festivals and such like.

A more flexible product is Redcare Secure which comes in versions, 2, 3 and IP, and is upgradeable. Secure has the advantage of having dual pathways to the ARC. The appropriate version is dependent on the level of risk at the property you want to protect.

It’s important to take relevant, specialist advice before deciding on the best alarm monitoring system for your needs. Barry Bros Security has been in the business for over sixty years and we have a number of professional accreditations for added peace of mind. We’re a family firm with over three generations of experts dedicated to keeping you and your property safe. We’re able to supply and fit all the products mentioned in this blog, and will always take time and care to advise on the best option for your needs. Please get in touch for advice, we’re here to help.