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I&has Systems Calling The Police Without A Urn


james.wilson

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Its been a while since my last blog.

My last blog was on direction and position for us as an industry and those involved in it. Nothing has changed imo from that entry.

Today id like to talk about more basic things. Things we do day to day, regulations we operate under etc.

On the approved side we have various rules and regulations we must all operate within. If we risk asses a site as needing, or we are requested to design a system that requires a police response then we do.

Currently if a security system is going to call the police (granted i accept that arc's etc are involved in this process) then it needs to comply with various regulations.

This includes the current EN 50131 reg in force, it also demands BS 8243 (there are others)

Using BS8243 as an example this requires we install and configure systems in a certain way. The main reason for this standard is to reduce the number of 'false' alarms we pass to the police regardless of cause. This is for intruder detection as well as personal attack systems (I&HAS). From a security point of view most systems are configured for sequential confirmation. That is 2 or more detectors located off the entry route must activate before a call is passed to the police. This is relatively easy to achieve as long as we design a system with adequate detection. ie 1 sensor per room is rarely sufficient as a single detector activating on a genuine break in will not result in the police being called. Ideally all we need to do is add additional protection to these areas and we have the desired more than 1 detector activating.

This is harder to achieve safely with regard to panic attack. As it was a user under attack could press a double push panic button safe in the knowledge that this would be passed to the police and assistance was on its way.

This is changing as we know and we now have confirmation of PA. This requires in its simplest form a different PA button. One you have to press in a certain way, in certain positions to get the desired effect.

So we have a basic position where to comply and achieve a police calling system you need (as an end user) a company that is inspected by a UKAS accredited inspectorate (currently NSI and SSAIB), you need a system designed to comply with the current legislation that does all it can to reduce or remove false alarms at the expense of possibly missing genuine ones. You need to play the police to activate your URN (ie your premisis to allow the alarm to even be passed to the police). You need to control the number of alarms you generate. If you have 3 false alarms in a rolling 12 month period and the 4th is genuine then the police can refuse to attend. All these alarms from complaint companies are monitored and checked statistically. If the false alarm rate of your provider is higher than the average they will be removed from calling the police. There are many reasons why a company might want to not pass alarms on to the police. Is this really what we are trying to achieve. Are we ignoring what the end users expectation is of an approved system?

On the flip side there are firms that provide a non approved, non regulated police response. They can use police cars and the word police calling on their marketing. They will pass any call from an alarm onto the police via the 999 system without any URN and using the correct wording will get the police to attend. Does this not make type A systems (ie approved) 2nd class. They are considerably cheaper to install and run. They dont need servicing, they dont need an on call engineer, they dont need to be complaint to any regulations, they dont need a URN or police tax, they dont need etc etc etc.

Are we loosing sight of what we should be doing and protecting?

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