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Alarm Systems

The range and diversity of alarm systems available can make choosing the right system for your need quite complex. Our SSAIB certifed companies can take the hassle out of this process for you as part of the service they provide is to advise you on the appropriate system for the type of property and grade of risk.

Choosing a Security System

The information below is not a definitive guide, but it will help you to understand the basic differences between the main types of system on offer. Choosing an SSAIB certified company to assist you will help keep your property and the people in it protected but will cover any insurance requirements. 

In terms of equipment, a basic system could comprose of something like an outside bell box and flashing light, a digital keypad for setting and unsetting, wireless motion detectors and window and door contacts. Or Smart packages may include all of this plus a wi-fi CCTV camera, video doorbell and an App to control the system.

There are a wide range of choices available for how the systems operates from bells-only to the more sophisticated range of monitored systems. Below is a brief review of some of the options, which might help with the amount of terminology that you will encounter when reviewing what systems are available.

By using an SSAIB-certificated company, you are assured that the installer has been subject to a range of  relevant checks - with respect to both technical competence and professional conduct. 

Always agree a written specification with the installer. Listen to advice, but do not be ‘bamboozled' by technical details. The installer should be able to explain - in layman's terms - what your system will be able to do. If you are in doubt about a specification, contact the certification body the installers are registered with and ask them to clarify.

  • Ask for a written fixed price. If the installer cannot give a fixed price, get them to detail what contingencies might cause the price to rise and by how much.
  • Ascertain what call-out cover or repair cover is provided.
  • Contact a range - say three, for example - of installers and compare the costs.
  • Ensure that you are given a Certificate of Conformity for the installed system. This confirms that the system has been installed to the relevant standard. This information is also held by the certification body - such as SSAIB - for information.
  • Confirm whether you have purchased or leased the system.
  • You should consider taking out a maintenance contract - as this will almost certainly be a condition of insurance and is mandatory for "Police calling" systems. Be sure you understand what is covered - ie the length of the contract, what is warrented, is both parts and labour included etc. Having your system maintained will reduce the potential for false alarms. A maintenance contract will also be required if you opt for a monitored system to gain a Police response.