Guide to security services
Guide to security services
|Page 1: Why hire a professional?
Page 2: Types of burglar alarm
Page 3: Other security options
Page 4: Links and contacts
Hannah Shanks - Editor
Anyone who has ever come home to find they have been burgled knows the sick feeling of violation. The realisation that some stranger has been through your treasured possessions is almost worse than any financial loss incurred.
It's a sad fact but Britain has the best burglars in Europe, according to a study by the European Union. The results, which were published in a recent Sunday Times article, discovered that break-ins here are more likely to be successful than anywhere else, even though householders are also the most likely to have burglar alarms.
This alarming fact means that an ordinary alarm bought in your local DIY store may not be sufficient to protect you and your family or business from the terror of being robbed.
Now that you've been through the difficult process of buying your property, don't let a nasty burglar turn your dream home into a nightmare. Employ a professional and sleep soundly safe in the knowledge your most valuable asset is well protected.
Why do I need a professional?
A badly installed security system is as effective as no system at all, and will only waste your time and money. In most cases alarm systems need to be installed correctly to function correctly and most security companies advise against installing a DIY system unless you have the electrical knowledge and the practical skill to do so.
Luckily the Security Industry Authority (SIA) estimate that there over 8,000 security companies in the UK market, employing approximately 350,000 people. There are many excellent alarm installation companies around, all fitting systems that comply with the relevant British Standards.
A trained professional can tailor each security system to your property's particular needs. For example the more isolated you are, the more you would benefit from a monitored alarm, where a designated company would be alerted should your alarm go off. Wire free alarms, though more expensive, are particularly useful in rented accommodation where you may not be allowed to make any alterations.
How do I find someone?
Your local business telephone directory is often a good source for finding suitable companies, but perhaps the best source is a recommendation by a friend or family member. Another handy tip is to have a look around your neighbourhood to see which other companies bell boxes are fitted.
It is also worth checking with the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board - a specialist Certification Body who license providers of electronic security systems, fire detection and alarm systems and guarding security services. SSAIB have in excess of 1200 companies on their register, and also offer useful guidance when trying to find the right company for your needs.
What should I know before I employ someone?
Although a certified professional will ensure your system is installed correctly, it is also important that when he leaves you are completely clear on how to use it, and also that no damage was done to your property during the installation. Before employing someone it is best to make sure the installer is covered for any damage he may do to your home, nothing usually goes wrong but plastic pipes for example can be difficult to detect in walls.
Never be afraid to make suggestions or even specify key features for your own alarm system. Explain to him how you intend to use the alarm system. For example do you want to set it at night or while you are at home during the day. Could you just set individual zones if you wanted to? And remember to ask for pet sensors if you have a cat or dog.
If you are buying your system from a sales representative, be sure to ask for brochures which show the equipment they will be installing and make sure you are happy that it will go well with your decor and that it is really fit for the purpose they are specifying.
Finally be sure to check that your chosen company has all the relevant insurances including the efficacy (failure to perform) insurance, and make sure they offer 24/7 cover, on every day of the year.