Choosing a Commercial Intruder Alarm System
A professionally installed intruder alarm system is critical to protect your business property from theft and criminal damage. Intruder alarms provide cost-effective protection for most types of business premises. They can both act as a deterrent to intruders, and also alert staff or police.
Choosing and purchasing the right business intruder alarm can be complicated due to the frequent changes in guidance and regulations, as well as the wide range of options available to choose from.
Companies may find that the requirements placed on them by their insurer present a challenge, as most insurance companies will want to have some input on the type of intruder alarm which is fitted at a property.
Business Intruder Alarm Options
There is a wide choice of intruder alarm makes, and many factors can affect your choice. Depending on your needs and level of security required, here are some of the main options.
Systems that simply sound an alarm in the event of an intrusion.
Setting of an audible alarm can deter casual intruders, and can alert on-site staff. However, for isolated buildings or areas where there are few people at certain times these can be ineffective, as there is no-one to respond.
Alarms that are connected to a monitoring centre 24/7, alerting the emergency services
These types are more likely to get a police response, although alerting systems can be set to alert keyholders instead. Especially if the alarm is otherwise silent, it can be possible to catch intruders before they leave. For these more advanced alarms, regular maintenance is normally essential to prevent false alarms.
Wired or wireless intruder alarms.
While traditional wired systems are generally cheaper and simpler to maintain, they can be expensive to fit. Wireless options are great for temporary solutions, or where installation is difficult due to landlord restrictions or building construction.
Integration with other security systems such as access control or fire alarms.
By integrating with different alert systems, such as access control (electronic door locks) or fire systems, a single point of management and control can be created. This can simplify responding to alerts, and reduce total costs.
Detectors and Zones
There are a huge range of different detectors available to business intruder alarm systems: motion detectors (PIR), pressure pads, glass break detectors, door and window contacts, infra red beams and vibration detectors. If you choose a system that supports all these different types of detector, it makes future upgrades and expansion simpler.
As well as deciding on the number of detectors, splitting a larger building into zones, can allow finer control over the alarm system. You can activate individual areas that are not in use, even when the rest of the building is occupied. This increases security, especially for otherwise vulnerable empty areas. It’s also ideal for building in multiple occupancy, as each room or area can control their own alarm, while the common areas are only activated once the last person has left.
Whatever you choose, all intruder alarm systems should be designed to European Standards EN50131 and DD243 for police response. Your alarm installer should carry out a thorough security risk assessment of your property. This is an extensive survey which will take account of such things as vulnerable points of entry, security hotspots, potential climbing points and much more.