Monitoring intruder alarm systems

With so many signalling options on the market these days it’s not easy to decide what’s best for your property.  This page introduces intruder alarm monitoring and overviews the different types (active, passive, dual-path, etc) and introduces the credible carriers and their products.

Audible only – no alarm monitoring

If an audible only intruder alarm is triggered, an external sounder on your premises activates for up to 15 minutes; however, these are often ignored as nothing more than a nuisance.  So if the premise is away from passing traffic or it’s the middle of the night, there’s unlikely to be any reaction.

NB: Audible only alarms do not receive an automatic police response; in line with the latest police policy (the ACPO Policy on Police Response to Security Systems (April 2012)), reports to the police of activated sounders will NOT receive a police response; a third party (ie a neighbour) would need to confirm witnessing the premises is in the process of being broken into before the police would attend.

Monitored security systems

For increased security you may wish to have your security system monitored.  A monitored alarm is one that is linked via internet connection or cellular network or both to an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC).

NB: An ARC is a permanently manned monitoring centre whose staff are dedicated to monitoring security systems and contacting the right Authority – i.e. the police usually, or the Fire & Rescue Service (FRS) in the case of a fire – if there is an activation.  An ARC is bound by strict legislation which ensures the highest standards of operation.

Passive alarm monitoring

Relic digital communicators send alarm signals but do not send polling signals to check whether the phone line is present as it should be making them vulnerable to attack.  If the phone line is damaged, or indeed intentionally cut, the alarm signal cannot reach the ARC and the ARC is unaware if there is a problem with the line.

NB: Passive monitoring = phone-line dependent; 
if the phone line is cut the alarm will not reach the monitoring centre and they will be unable to call the Police.

Active alarm monitoring

These days, alarm communicators actively poll the ARC to verify the phone line is present, and this is known as ‘active’ monitoring. The polling frequency differs between communication products and this can determine their signalling grade suitability (insurers are usually responsible for grading systems – grade 1 being the most secure).

Active alarm monitoring using two signalling paths

In 1996, CSL DualCom invented integrated dual signalling and pioneered the move from wired to wireless technology in the electronic security industry. DualCom is now trusted to protect over 350,000 premises throughout Europe including many major retail brands.

Dual path signalling means an internet connection and a radio path (using IP and GPRS or GPRS and GPRS) are both used – and if either of the paths is attacked the other continues to communicate any further alarms and – unless the missing path is restored – the next alarm will transmit as a ‘confirmed’ activation (read more about alarm confirmation).

CSL DualCom Pro® is capable of sending confirmed activations even if the radio path or internet connection fails, and if they both fail, this represents two alarms and a confirmed alarm is passed to the police. This makes them the most secure methods of monitoring an intruder alarm.

The DualCom Pro® range is the UK’s fastest-selling and most used dual signalling system.  It’s an extremely reliable product that can be installed on a single hardware platform for any grade of risk.

Both carriers use intelligent network selecting technology – meaning that the system can use any of the major cellular networks to communicate – and when an alarm occurs, the strongest signal is used to communicate to the ARC.

Our ‘police response‘ page highlights how, due to police guidelines, all new remotely monitored systems must be capable of sending two alarm signals to the monitoring centre.  This gives added ‘confirmation’ that an intruder is on the premises and that the alarm is not false.

Our ‘alarm confirmation‘ page explains how the alarm ‘confirms’ an activation and the three types of confirmation available.

Our ‘Alarm Status Signals‘ page lays-out our monitored alarm status signals policy and how we contact keyholders in regards to different signals.

Back to the main Intruder Alarms page.

  • Mrs N H***** Bournemouth, Dorset

    Engineer arrived on time and was very friendly, willing to take on board our comments regarding box location from the moment he arrived – He went through the system and demonstrated it several times.  He was thorough in his testing.  He took extra care to hide the cabling, swept up and even offered to vacuum!

  • Ricara Ltd Brighton

    Always helpful, always proficient, efficient and effective.

  • Mrs Ann Nash Woking, Surrey

    When I ring I speak to a real person who takes time to find my details and so can speak to me as an individual.  This personal contact is invaluable.

  • Alan Sharman Hindhead, Surrey

    The transition of ownership of the company was seamless for customers with commitments and prices maintained.

  • Mr A Dxxxxxx Chichester, West Sussex

    The same technician has serviced our system several times.  He knows us and he knows the system.  Always helpful, friendly, cheerful and professional.

  • Mrs Bell Camberley, Surrey

    Had CIA at previous address and were so impressed with the level of service, we had one installed at our new address!

  • Mr T xxxxxxx Portsmouth, Hampshire

    The service we receive is excellent and always has been.

  • Miss B********** Hedge End, Southampton

    The engineer is always polite and cheerful and takes care inside my house.  It is lovely to see the same engineer year after year.

  • Mr M Sxxxxxxxxxxx Waterlooville, Hampshire

    Polite attitude of your technician, minimum disruption.

  • Ms E Cxxxxx Emsworth, Hampshire

    Engineer turned up on the date and time specified. Did a good job and left the house tidy. The alarm works. Job done!