Whereas the police will only react to an audible alarm where there is additional evidence of intrusion or a crime in progress, calls placed via an Alarm Receiving Centre always receive the appropriate attention from the police. Over many years the security industry, of which Alarm Receiving Centres are a major part, have developed filtering policies to greatly reduce the number of false alarms being passed to the emergency services.
Other options such as self-monitoring using mobile apps do not provide the human intervention and ‘always there’ service that dedicated ARC operators offer. With ARC monitoring there is no need to worry about a poor signal on your mobile device, a flat battery or just being unavailable when an alarm is activated.
Modern technology allows your alarm system to send detailed information to the ARC so the required action can be taken. This could be information relating to an intruder alarm, a fire, electricity failure, freezer high temperatures or any critical service or equipment failure. The action taken by the ARC can be different for each type of alarm received, providing the appropriate response whether it is the police, fire brigade or a specialist maintenance company.
Remote CCTV monitoring is one of the largest growth areas. Rather than on site equipment simply recording an incident taking place, remote CCTV monitoring allows ARC staff to monitor intruders and relay detailed information to emergency services. The CCTV images are recorded by the ARC and securely stored in line with data protection regulations.
Alarm signals are passed to the ARC using many of the available modern technologies, the mobile phone data network and fixed line broadband being the most common. Many systems use a combination of both, giving piece of mind that a temporary fault on either mobile or the broadband network will not prevent the alarm being transmitted or received. The alarm signalling equipment can let the ARC know when there is a problem with one or both communication paths so the information can be passed to you or your preferred representative.
Working with the ARC, your alarm maintenance provider can design a bespoke service for you. When an alarm is generated, you can decide who is informed, when they are informed and how they are informed. If it is a low importance notification alarm in the middle of the night you can choose to receive an email notification. A high priority alarm may result in a call to the emergency services, a call to your nominated attendee and an email notification to the responsible person.
Alarm Receiving Centres offering emergency service response must comply to stringent British and European Standards. ARCs undergo annual inspections by certification bodies to ensure their continued compliance to these standards. In addition to operational procedures, the standards include disaster recovery planning, training, staff security screening and quality procedures. This ensures the quality and integrity of the remote monitoring service is maintained at the highest level.
An insurer may insist on remote monitoring for some types of premises and discounts are often offered where alarm systems are installed, maintained and monitored to the relevant standards by accredited companies.
The same monitoring service is provided for the smallest of residential premises to the largest corporate headquarters, from the local corner shop to the largest of high street banks. Remote monitoring is suitable for all types of premises.