Security and fire alarms keep properties safe by alerting people to emergencies. Yet surveys have found that up to three quarters of Brits have ignored burglar alarms, mostly because they were not sure what they were supposed to do when they heard them.

This worrying precedent is what makes alarm monitoring so crucial. When an alarm system is monitored, security experts are always prepared to respond to any activations, keeping you and your property safe 24/7, 365 days a year.

Local alarm monitoring companies such as ours undertake complex work which consists of many parts, as different kinds of alarms and monitoring packages work in slightly different ways.

Security 201 is part of the prestigious Banham Group, meaning we can provide comprehensive alarm & CCTV monitoring from an award-winning ARC in London for all of our intruder alarms, fire alarm and CCTV systems.


How intruder alarm monitoring works

Intruder alarms, or burglar alarms, are effective in deterring, hindering, and catching criminals; however, to meet their true potential, they have to be monitored. When a monitored intruder alarm is activated, it will send a message to an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC), also known as a central monitoring station.


What is a central monitoring station or an alarm receiving centre?

Central monitoring ARCs are staffed around the clock by trained security professionals who are ready to respond to any activated alarms.

Alarm Receiving Centres feature cutting-edge alarm monitoring equipment to aid these professionals; when a monitored burglar alarm is triggered, it will transmit information from the home security system to the ARC.

The ARC professionals will receive and vet the incoming alarm signal and in the case of a verified alarm, the property owner, the assigned keyholders, and the Police (depending on the type of the selected monitoring contract) will be notified and the necessary actions will be taken.


Police monitored alarms

In the case of monitored burglar alarms with Police response, the ARC will be able to notify the Emergency Services of a confirmed alarm activation and officers will attend the property as quickly as possible.

Once in attendance, these officers can apprehend criminals in the act, or immediately gather evidence and begin the search for a culprit if the burglars have fled already.

Keep in mind that Police response may be withdrawn from a premises if the Police are called to three false alarms in the course of 12 months so regular maintenance of the system is required.

Banham was the first company to be awarded the Gold and Silver awards from the Metropolitan Police for the lowest false alarm rate. Security201 is a member of Banham Group which means that all our customers enjoy the exclusive benefits and second-to-none customer service that Banham has to offer.


Keyholder monitored alarms

Monitored alarms without police monitoring contracts are usually covered by professional keyholders (Key Guards). Key Guards are based in the ARC itself, and attend properties in cases of confirmed activation, gaining access using a copy of the property’s keys that is safeguarded in a secure location in the ARC.

Though unable to make arrests, Key Guards are instrumental in making sure a property remains secure after a break-in by performing the necessary security checks and by contacting and arranging access for locksmiths and tradespeople.


Monitored intruder alarms and CCTV

Properties with monitored alarm systems will often also have monitored CCTV. In these instances, ARCs will use live security camera footage to help assess the cause of any triggered alarms, allowing them to arrange an appropriate response.

If the police attend a number of false alarms, for example, they may refuse to attend future activations from the same property. With monitored CCTV cameras in use, those monitoring the alarm can check whether an activation was accidental, or whether immediate police response will be needed.


How fire alarm monitoring works

Though fire alarms are known for alerting building residents of the need to evacuate, it is also advantageous to have these alarms monitored as well. If a building catches fire when it is empty, monitoring is essential to ensuring a swift response from the fire service.

Some types of buildings require monitored fire alarm response by law; residential care premises, for example, and buildings like schools or offices, which are not continuously occupied. Just as with intruder alarms, monitored fire alarms send signals to an ARC, where professionals can coordinate a response. Often, this will involve calling the fire brigade immediately.


Benefits of alarm monitoring

It goes without saying that monitored alarms are safer than unmonitored alarms. Without a swift, coordinated response to an activation, an intruder or fire alarm is still a valuable security deterrent, but it is far less effective.

As well as the clear security benefits, monitored alarm systems can help reduce the cost of insurance premiums. Some insurers offer lower prices for residential or commercial properties with police- or keyholder-monitored alarm systems, due to the reduction in risk which these services provide.

For more about alarm monitoring from Security 201, visit our Monitoring & Maintenance page now.