Intruder Alarm Systems SSAIB Certificated Company

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FSL Security Systems frequently asked questions

Please find below a list of our most frequently asked questions on our home and commercial burglar alarm and fire alarm systems. We hope this answers any queries you have but if you require any further assistance then please contact us.

Q) What is a "Bells only intruder alarm" system?
A) "Bells Only" refers to the type of intruder alarm, burglar alarm, or fire alarm system that uses audible and visual signalling only –i.e. an external Siren and Strobe – and is not connected to any monitoring station. Such burglar and intruder security systems can still be registered with the Police but it is optional and police response is dependent upon a neighbour or passer by hearing your alarm ringing and raising the alarm.

Q) What do I need to know about false alarms from my system?
A) Due to the serious nature of intruder alarm systems, there are strict rules affecting false alarms.

Very few false alarms arise due to technical problems – most are due to simple human error or misuse of the system. For monitored intruder alarm systems the police can refuse to respond to a premises after there have been three false alarms during a 12 month period. Up to a further 12 month period, free from false alarms, is then required in order to reinstate police response.

Alarm companies are required to ensure that the reason for a false alarm can always be identified. If the reason is not immediately apparent then an engineer should visit the premises to investigate. In the event of repeated false alarms, even where the reason is known, the alarm company must work with the client to resolve the problem either through training or changes to the system.

Q) How long does it take to install a security system?
A) Alarm system installations take approximately 1 day for a small shop and 1.5 to 2 days for a 4 bed detached house. Installations requested outside normal office hours are subject to a surcharge.

The majority of our installations are fully hardwired to minimise interference and false alarms and ALL wiring is monitored against tampering. Every possible effort is made to conceal wiring under floor boards and carpets and we pride ourselves in the quality of our work. We never forget that it is your property we are working within.

However, where wiring is simply not an option, Wire Free door contacts, motion sensors and smoke detectors are available at additional cost.

Q) How many key holders will be needed?
A) For monitored intruder and fire alarms minimum or 2 key holders are required. Key holders are people who do not live at the alarmed premises but have access to it. For commercial premises key holders can be the owner (provided they don't live at the premises), Store Manager, etc. For residential premises key holders are neighbours or friends/family living locally.

If the alarm is activated the monitoring station will call the key holders who will then be required to attend the premises.

Key holders must live within 20 minutes of the alarmed premises and have their own transport and set of keys to the premises. They must know how to operate the alarm including knowledge of passwords used by the alarm monitoring station.

There are specialist companies available who, for a fee, can act as key holders.

Q) What is a monitored alarm system?
A) Monitored systems are linked by your phone line (or, in the case of high security systems, phone line and wireless transceiver) to a remote Monitoring Station. Each time the alarm is set, unset or activated signals are sent to the call centre. For all alarm activations, the call centre will first try to contact the protected premises and then, if they cannot get a satisfactory response, they will call key holders. A password is used to ensure security of communication with the Monitoring Station.

If the alarm is activated and two devices are triggered, the call centre will, in addition to the above, immediately summon the police to the premises.

Q) What about pets and false alarms?
A) Pets are a very common cause of false alarms. Most alarms use motion sensors and whilst these can be configured and positioned so as to minimise the risk of false activation by pets, the risk can never really be totally eradicated. If at all possible, pets should be restricted to one or two rooms (i.e. the kitchen) whilst the alarm is set. These rooms could then be protected by non-motion sensitive devices such as door contracts and window sensors.

In extreme circumstances, where large pets cannot be restricted at all, devices utilising detection features such as "audio verification" can be used but this and other such devices significantly increase the cost of the overall alarm.