False alarm guide

by Mark Rowe

The trade body the BSIA has contributed to a guide which aims to help installers of Hold-Up Alarm (HUA) systems to reduce the number of false alarms.

Developed by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) Security Systems Group, the guide provides an overview of the impact that false alarms have and offers recommendations on how installers can help to reduce these. These recommendations include:

•Take HUA Systems out of service before work starts and remember to return them to full service when work has been completed.
•Remind users of the proper use of HUAs as advised by the Police – for use during an attack or threat of an attack involving persons at premises protected by the HUA. A brawl outside the premises or petty theft is not proper use.
•Recommend the repositioning of HUAs vulnerable to damage following changes to internal layout of premises.
•Ensure HUA fixings and covers are secure during service visits and remind the users to report minor damage.
•Remind users of their duty to inform contractors working in the premises that HUAs are installed and active.
•Discuss correct use of HUAs with all employees who have direct contact with customers.

These steps can help to reduce the number of false alarms, thereby reducing unnecessary work for the police and maintaining the reputation of Alarm Receiving Centres (ARCs) and installers.

David Wilkinson, Director of Technical Services at the BSIA, said: “The BSIA is fully supportive of initiatives to reduce the number of false alarms generated from security equipment. Preventing false hold-up alarm activations will help to ensure that hold-up alarms remain an effective method to deliver a rapid police response and maintain users’ confidence in security systems. The guide provides installers of hold-up alarm systems with simple recommendations that can help to prevent false alarms during installation, maintenance and use. The BSIA is pleased to endorse the guide, and I am sure that it will prove beneficial to installers and service engineers alike.”

The guide can be downloaded from the BSIA website:

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